Each year, the GSAS Student Council (GSC) chooses graduating students as Commencement marshals. Traditionally, on the morning of Commencement, these students help the GSAS deans organize the procession from the GSAS breakfast gathering to Harvard Yard. Walking at the head of the procession, they proudly hoist the School gonfalon as they lead the graduating class into Tercentenary Theatre. It is a wonderful tradition and considered an honor to be chosen as a Commencement marshal. The 2020 in-person ceremony has been postponed until a later date, and we anticipate the marshals will join us then to lead the parade. 

The 2020 Commencement marshals have been selected by the GSC and will join Dean Emma Dench at the GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony for a virtual celebration.

Marshal nominations are made by members of the GSAS community, including students, the nominee’s graduate program administrator, or Harvard faculty. The 2020 Commencement marshals are: 

Representing the doctor of philosophy:

  • Rodrick Kuate Defo, PhD, Physics
  • Blythe Katelyn George, PhD, Sociology
  • Eliza J. Gettel, PhD, Classics
  • Sa-kiera Tiarra Jolynn Hudson, PhD, Psychology
  • Blakely Bussie O'Connor, PhD, Engineering Sciences
  • David Romney, PhD, Government
  • Ivan Jacinto Santiago, PhD, Medical Sciences
  • Thomas Patrick Wisniewski, PhD, Comparative Literature

Representing graduates with a master of arts, master of science, or master of engineering:

  • Amy Jean Grantham, AM, Regional Studies–East Asia

  • Ivanna Yana Kuz, AM, Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia


GSAS student Blythe George

Blythe Katelyn George, PhD, sociology

Rodrick Kuate Defo

Rodrick Kuate Defo, PhD, physics











Sa-kiera Tiarra Jolynn Hudson

Sa-kiera Tiarra Jolynn Hudson, PhD, psychology

Eliza J. Gettel

Eliza J. Gettel, PhD, classics











David Romney

David Romney, PhD, government

Blakely Bussie O'Connor

Blakely Bussie O'Connor, PhD, engineering sciences











Ivan Jacinto Santiago

Ivan Jacinto Santiago, PhD, medical sciences

FWC tutor Thomas Wisniewski

Thomas Patrick Wisniewski, PhD, comparative literature











Amy Jean Grantham

Amy Jean Grantham, AM, regional studies–East Asia

Ivanna Yana Kuz

Ivanna Yana KuzAM, regional studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Meet the 2020 Commencement Marshals