Sign Up!


The Berkeley Connect program opens up the extraordinary resources of the university to you: the extraordinary students on our campus. By joining, you will become part of a community of like-minded faculty, mentors, and students that will provide a supportive environment in which to exchange and discuss ideas and goals. Berkeley Connect will help you to make the most of your time at the university as you learn more about the major in Sociology. We’re excited to get to know you!

message from the director

Have you ever wished for an intellectual mentor who knows all the ins and outs of Sociology, both at Berkeley and in the world? Or wanted to meet other sociology undergrads in a setting that didn’t involve grades and homework?  Or imagined figuring out what it actually means to read or argue like a sociologist?  These are just some of the things you’ll be able to do if you join Berkeley Connect in Sociology.

As Director of the Berkeley Connect in Sociology, I am excited about the program because it is one of the best ways I can envisage to help our students succeed and thrive at Berkeley—and beyond.

Professor Kim Voss
Director, Berkeley Connect in Sociology

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program description

Berkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in Sociology. These mentors lead small groups of 10-20 students in regular meetings; they also meet with students one-on-one to provide guidance and advice. The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests. There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzes. Instead, small group meetings focus on sharing ideas and learning new skills within the Sociology major as a way to foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community for Berkeley undergraduates.

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect in Sociology is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors who have declared the major.

Every semester, Berkeley Connect sponsors a wide range of activities and events for participating students.  They include:

  • small-group meetings led by your mentor;
  • one-on-one meetings with your mentor;
  • special events, including informal lectures by professors and guest speakers, and panels on career options, graduate school admissions, and other topics;
  • and visits to Berkeley resources.

At the heart of Berkeley Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Berkeley Connect mentors are advanced graduate students s in Sociology, 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.

When you sign up for Berkeley Connect, you will join one of several small groups of participants in Sociology. Your small group will be led by your mentor, and will meet every other week during the semester for an hour-long dinner discussion sessions. Discussions will focus on key intellectual issues within Sociology as well as key skills you need to succeed in the major. Above all, the small groups will focus on building connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community for all participants.

You will also meet with your mentor one-on-one at least twice during the semester, once to get acquainted, and a second time just before Tele-Bears, to discuss your plans for completing your major. Your mentor also has office hours every other week, during which you are free to show up and ask questions, talk over your day or your week, discuss what you are learning in class, or just have an informal conversation.

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Kim Voss (Director)
is Professor of Sociology.  She began teaching at Berkeley in 1986, after earning her PhD at Stanford University.  In 2004, she became the first female chair of the Berkeley Sociology Department. Voss’s specialties are labor, social movements, inequality, and comparative-historical sociology. Her research has appeared in leading journals, as well as in several books, including Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America (coedited with Irene Bloemraad, University of California Press 2011), Hard Work: Remaking the America Labor Movement (with Rick Fantasia, University of California Press 2004), Rebuilding Labor: Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement (co-edited with Ruth Milkman, Cornell University Press 2004), Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (with 5 Berkeley colleagues, Princeton University Press 1996), and The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century (Cornell University Press, 1993). Her current research explores contemporary social movements, the emergence and institutionalization of a system of professions surrounding college admissions, and worker identities in a new era of immigration.

G. Cristina Mora
completed her B.A. in Sociology at UC Berkeley in 2003 and earned her PhD in Sociology from Princeton University in 2009. Before returning to Cal, she was a Provost Postdoctoral Scholar in Sociology at the University of Chicago. Professor Mora’s research focuses mainly on questions of racial and ethnic categorization, organizations, and culture. Her forthcoming book, Making HIspanics, will be published by the University of Chicago Press and provides a socio-historical account of the emergence and diffusion of the “Hispanic/Latino” panethnic category in the United States. She is currently working on two new projects. The first examines how national Latino political organizations in the United States and Spain develop and implement panethnic agendas. The second assess clinical studies to explore how the rise of a HIspanic panethnic category influenced the discourse about race and medicine in the United States and abroad.  In addition, Professor Mora’s research on culture focuses on immigrant religion, as well as on the diffusion of Pentecostalism in Latin America. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in venues like the American Sociological Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Latino Studies, and Poetics.

Christopher Sullivan
received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography at UC Berkeley in 2013. His research examines ethnicity and inequality in China using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.  He is currently working on a project that looks at the extension of genetic technologies to understandings of Han Chinese identity. He will teach research methods in the Berkeley Sociology Department starting in the spring 2014 semester.

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berkeley connect mentors

Rafael Colonna 

is doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology with a designated emphasis in women, gender and sexuality. Rafael's dissertation explores how LGBT families with children experience and manage stigma, drawing on intensive interviews with LGBT parents. While at UC Berkeley, Rafael has worked closely with undergraduates as a Graduate Student Instructor and as a Graduate Student Mentor for the Sociology Department's Senior Honors Program. He has also served as a Graduate Student Representative for the Chancellor's Advisory Board on the LGBT Community at Cal.

Emine Fidan Elcioglu 

is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and a former fellow with the Center for Research on Social Change at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and History from the University of Chicago. Fidan's dissertation research examines the politics of immigration at the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. In particular, her work looks at how pro-immigrant activists, on the one hand, and immigration restrictionist activists, on the other, make sense of the global political economy and how these contrasting understandings lead the two groups of activists to very different conclusions about (il)legality, nation, and difference. Fidan has also written about precarious forms of labor in the US, media depictions of undocumented migration, and the state's relationship to migrant deaths. Given that her own choice to pursue a career in academia was the direct result of the support and guidance she received as an undergraduate and graduate student, Fidan appreciates the importance of mentoring.

Angela Fillingim 

is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology. She was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and raised in Berkeley. Since 2005, she has done extensive work with the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley on their project to identify children illegally adopted during the Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992) and to reunite them with their biological family members. In 2007 she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in sociology. Her fields of expertise are: human rights; immigration, Latin America, race, and political sociology. Her dissertation work examines the United States’ response to human rights violations in Latin America between the years of 1976 and 1992, drawing on a content analysis of over 160 congressional hearings.

Margo M. Mahan 

is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. She has been a Fellow at the Center for Research on Social Change, and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. She holds a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an MA in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Margo was an Army officer for eight years and a corporate management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Her dissertation investigates the conspicuous inattention to male batterers in domestic violence debates, and the effects of their peripheral location in state domestic violence policy. She has over ten years of experience in battered women’s and military family advocacy. She is the founder of the Breaking Silences Project and the His Story Project.

Kara Young 

is a seventh-year doctoral student qualified in the fields of race and gender. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated with a BA in sociology from Brown University in 2006. Inspired by a heightened awareness of the important role that food plays in her own holistic health, Kara embarked on an exploratory journey down the California coast. Along the way, she interviewed people about their relationships to food and became acutely aware of how her previous academic work, which interrogated linked structures of gender, racial, and class oppressions, was tied to and reproduced through our food system. She has since integrated these realizations into a dissertation project in which she investigates the emotional associations that individuals in different social structural locations have around buying and eating food. As an educator and musician, Kara has taught sociological and creative writing classes in high schools, universities, rehabilitation centers and state prison. She is presently a Graduate Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.

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Sample Syllabus, Berkeley Connect in Sociology

WEEK 1: Opening Meeting, 6 pm


Small group meetings #1: Getting to know you


Meet Your Mentor: individual meetings with Berkeley Connect Fellows


Small group meetings #2, Reading Like a Sociologist


office hours

Event: “The Book or Experience that Made Me a Professor

Three Berkeley Sociology Professors TBA


Small group meetings #3, "Theory: Meet Data: Asking Questions and Discovering Answers"


Visits: Sections, 1,2,5,8, 10, 13, 14 to the Library to explore “Data Bases Beyond Google

Sections 11,12: D-Lab or other Data Center


office hours

Panel on Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Study Break, 6:30-8pm, 420 Barrows


Small group meetings #4, Tech and Gadgets: how they help and how they hinder.


WEEK 10:

Office hours/course selection advising

WEEK 11:

Office hours/course selection advising

Telebears Begins

Career Panel: Berkeley Sociology Alumni

WEEK 12:

Small group meetings #5,  Everyone argues….but what counts as a sociological argument?

WEEK 13:

Office Hours

WEEK 14:

Small group meetings #6: What is Sociology For?


6 p.m.  Study Break, ,420 Barrows

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In Fall 2014, the following sections of Berkeley Connect are available in Sociology:

• Sociology 98BC Section 1, CCN 81731, Mon 5-6pm (lower division)
• Sociology 98BC Section 2, CCN 83118, Mon 6-7pm (lower division)
• Sociology 98BC Section 3, CCN 83121, Tues 5-6pm (lower division)
• Sociology 198BC Section 1, CCN 82169, Tues 6-7pm (junior transfers)
• Sociology 198BC Section 2, CCN 83124, Wed 5-6pm (junior transfers)
• Sociology 198BC Section 3, CCN 83127, Wed 6-7pm (junior transfers)
• Sociology 198BC Section 4, CCN 83130, Thurs 5-6pm (junior transfers)
• Sociology 198BC Section 5, CCN 83133 Thurs 6-7pm (upper division)
• Sociology 198BC Section 6, CCN 83136 Wed 5-6pm (upper division)
• Sociology 198BC Section 7, CCN 83139, Wed 6-7pm (upper division)

To help you meet other students who share your experiences and perspectives, Berkeley Connect sections are designated as lower division (first-year students and sophomores), new junior transfers, and upper division (juniors and seniors), but you can enroll in any section that fits your schedule and credit requirements.


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how to sign up

To participate in Berkeley Connect in Sociology, you enroll in a designated section of Sociology 98BC or 198BC (one unit, taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis). Many students chose to enroll for more than one semester. Participation is NOT restricted to declared majors.

To sign up, enroll in a Berkeley Connect section via TeleBears when course registration opens.  Please see the Berkeley Connect sections listed above under “Schedule.”

**Read the schedule notes carefully—different sections are designated as primarily for lower-division (freshmen and sophomores), upper-division (juniors and seniors), or junior transfer students.

If you are interested in participating in Berkeley Connect, but course registration is not currently open, you can join the Berkeley Connect Mailing List, and you will be sent more details when the next semester's information becomes available.

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contact us

Please see our FAQs.  If you have additional questions about Berkeley Connect in Sociology, please contact:

Kim Voss, Faculty Director,

You can also contact the central Berkeley Connect office  at or (510)664-4182.

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links & resources