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Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program open to all students at UC Berkeley—thousands of students enroll each year. Bridge Connect is a specially designed version of Berkeley Connect for Summer Bridge participants.

Through Bridge Connect you will be matched with a graduate student who will be your personal mentor for the summer. You will also be placed in a small group of your peers that will meet weekly for discussions facilitated by your mentor. Through one-on-one and group mentoring, you will start to build your intellectual community and support network at UC Berkeley.

The Berkeley Connect motto is “you belong here.” Students tell us that Berkeley Connect mentoring helps them connect with other students and with professors; increases their awareness of resources available to them on campus; and boosts their sense of confidence and belonging at UC Berkeley.

Learning in community is more fulfilling and effective than learning alone. We can’t wait to Connect with you!

Message from the Director

Erica Bree RosenblumDear Summer Bridge students:

It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to our UC Berkeley campus and to Bridge Connect!

I am a professor at UC Berkeley and the faculty director of the Bridge Connect program. We developed this program for you with the intention of supporting you as you begin your college journey.

It was more than 25 years ago that I began my own college journey. At that time, I didn’t really understand how a university worked, and I didn’t get much orientation to help me find my bearings. I didn’t know how to approach professors in office hours. I didn’t know how to find a research position on campus. And I didn’t know who to talk with when I failed organic chemistry–yes, you can fail chemistry and still go on to get a PhD and become a science professor ;)!

But eventually I found the mentors I needed. I asked my genetics professor if I could work in his lab enough times that he finally said yes. He invested in me and guided me as I produced my first original research. I found a staff member at the Center for Public Service who I revered, and she helped me develop my leadership skills. I discovered a local artist who taught me how to keep my passion for creativity alive as I worked hard in school.

Not only did I find amazing mentors, but I discovered the power of mentoring. That’s why I’m so excited to connect you with the wonderful graduate students who will be your Bridge Connect mentors this summer. My hope is that they will be among the first but certainly not the last mentors who will make a difference for you during your time at UC Berkeley.

Through Bridge Connect, our goal is to help you build community here at Berkeley, and help you discover the many opportunities that this university has to offer you. Inevitably, there will be bumps in the road ahead–and if failing organic chemistry is one of them, let me know–but Bridge Connect is here to help you develop the confidence you need as you begin this exciting journey.

Looking forward to meeting you,

Bree

Erica Bree Rosenblum

Faculty Director, Berkeley Connect

Program Description

At the heart of Bridge Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Bridge Connect mentors are advanced graduate students, or recent PhDs, who are chosen both for their demonstrated commitment to undergraduates and for their scholarly achievement. They are dedicated to providing the kind of close-knit community and one-on-one attention that can be hard to find at a large university.

You will meet one-on-one with your mentor at least twice, once near the beginning of the session and once near the end. At these meetings you will be able to talk with your mentor about your goals and aspirations, your questions and concerns—anything you want related to your academic life.

Your mentor will also hold open mentoring hours every week, giving you additional opportunities to check in and make the most of his/her support and expertise throughout the session.

Your small group will meet every week for an hour-long discussion session facilitated by your mentor. Discussions will focus on exploring the research university environment and how you will chart your own path through it—how you will identify and connect with the people, places, and programs that can help you achieve your academic goals. The small group discussions are designed to build connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community.

Bridge Connect carries one unit of academic credit, and is offered Pass/Not Pass. In order to pass, you simply need to attend, participate, and complete the required surveys. Bridge Connect will not add to your study load or stress load. Bridge Connect will offer you opportunities for reflection, exploration, and connection as you begin your journey through UC Berkeley.

Faculty

Erica Bree RosenblumErica Bree Rosenblum is an Associate Professor of Global Change Biology in Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) and Faculty Director of the Berkeley Connect program.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Brooklyn, NY.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? BA, Brown University; ecology and evolutionary biology. PhD, UC Berkeley; integrative biology.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? My research focuses on understanding the biological diversity of our planet. How are new species formed? And why species being lost at such an alarming rate in our contemporary world?

Meet Your Mentor

 

Ignacio EscalanteIgnacio Escalante is a PhD candidate in Environmental Science, Policy & Management.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? San José, Costa Rica.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? University of Costa Rica; biology.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? I study the behavior and ecology of animals. Particularly, the causes and consequences of a defensive strategy: dropping legs to escape predators.

Michel EstefanMichel Estefan is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Zitacuaro, Michoacán (in Mexico) and Mexico City.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City; international relations.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? I study why some judicial systems do a better job protecting civil and political rights compared to others. I focus on the comparative cases of Spain and Mexico.

Ina KelleherIna Kelleher is a PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? New York City.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Oberlin College; English & Latin American Studies.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? My dissertation is the story of four mothers living in the aftermath of their child’s murder. I explore how grief is a racialized, classed, and gendered form of labor.

Renee MackRenee Mack is a PhD candidate in Social Welfare.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Ventura, California.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Columbia University; economics-philosophy.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? My research focuses on the intersection of criminal justice and mental health by examining the ways in which legally defined persons in the mental health system receive and perceive psychiatric treatment.

Alex McInturffAlex McInturff is a PhD candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Alabama.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Stanford; earth systems.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? If we successfully protect wildlife species and help them recover, does this create new kinds of conflict between wildlife and people? What kinds of social and ecological mechanisms drive these conflicts?

Kristen NelsonKristen Nelson is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Smith College; sociology and the study of women and gender.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? Most people have strong unconscious racial bias that influences their behavior, but some do not. My research investigates how social experiences differ between people who have lots of this bias, and people who have little.

Amadeus ReguceraAmadeus Regucera recently earned his PhD in Music.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? San Jose, California.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? UC San Diego; music.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? I compose music and develop interdisciplinary projects that explore the physicality of sound production and musical expression and how our physiologies and social identities are factors in composition and performance.

Valentina Rozas-KrauseValentina Rozas-Krause is a PhD candidate in Architecture.

  • Where did you spend your childhood? Berlin and Santiago.
  • Where did you go to college? What was your major? Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Architecture.
  • How would you describe your research in a sentence or two? More people seem to publicly apologize today than ever before. At the same, the removal of Confederate monuments has shed new light on the ways we remember our past. My research proposes that these two phenomena are connected and analyzes the relationship between the upsurge in apologies and the building of memorials.

Semester Plan

Bridge Connect Summer 2019 **DRAFT** Schedule

Details subject to change

WEEK 1 (week of July 8) Beginning the journey of discovery

  • Small-group discussion: What is mentoring and how can we seek mentors throughout our time at Cal?
  • Start-of-semester survey
  • Online reflection exercise

WEEK 2 (week of July 15) Taking advantage of opportunities at the research university

  • Small-group discussion: What makes a research university special and how can we best navigate the opportunities at Cal?
  • Online reflection exercise
  • One-on-one meetings with mentors
  • Field trip option #1: Berkeley Art Museum

WEEK 3 (week of July 22) Addressing challenges at the research university

  • Small-group discussion: What are common challenges encountered at a research university and how can we address them?
  • Online reflection exercise
  • Open mentoring hours

WEEK 4 (week of July 29) Getting to know the faculty and their stories

  • Small-group discussion: What are the best ways to get support from professors during our time at Cal?
  • Faculty guest speakers
  • Field trip option #2: Natural history museums
  • Online reflection exercise
  • Open mentoring hours

WEEK 5 (week of Aug 5) Creating your own discovery experience at Cal

  • Small-group discussion: What are opportunities to tailor our time at Cal through research, community engagement, entrepreneurship, or creative work?
  • Field trip option #3: Bancroft Library
  • Online reflection exercise
  • Open mentoring hours

WEEK 6 (week of Aug 12) Setting your goals and intentions

  • Small-group discussion: What are our goals and aspirations for the next leg of the journey at Cal?
  • One-on-one meetings with mentors
  • Online reflection exercise
  • Exit survey

Schedule

All Summer Bridge participants will be enrolled in a section of Bridge Connect. Weekly meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 5pm and 6pm. You will be informed of the time and location of your section.

How to Sign Up

Bridge Connect in a core component of the Summer Bridge curriculum; all participants will automatically have Bridge Connect added to their summer course schedule. No additional step is needed to sign up.

If you would like to continue with Berkeley Connect during the academic year, you can enroll in Berkeley Connect (98BC) for the Fall or Spring during the regular course selection process. Berkeley Connect is offered through 14 different academic departments and is open to all students regardless of declared or intended major.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions about Bridge Connect, please contact:

Bree Rosenblum, Faculty Director, rosenblum@berkeley.edu

Michele Rabkin, Associate Director, micheler@berkeley.edu, (510)664-4182