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.

Cybelle Fox

is associate professor of sociology at UC Berkeley. Her main research interests are in race, immigration and the American welfare state. She received her B.A. in history and economics from UC San Diego and her PhD in sociology and social policy from Harvard University. Her most recent book, Three Worlds of Relief(Princeton University Press, 2012), compares the incorporation of blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants in the American welfare system from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. Fox won six book awards for Three Worlds of Relief, including the 2012 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Fox’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, American Behavioral Scientist, Sociology of EducationPolitical Science QuarterlySocial Forces, and Sociological Methods and Research. She is also co-author of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings (Basic Books, 2004).

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berkeley connect mentors

Cyrus DiounCyrus Dioun is a doctoral candidate in Sociology. Born in Columbus, OH, Cyrus completed his BA in Public Policy Analysis at Pomona College and his MA in Quantitative Methods at Columbia University. Currently, Cyrus uses computational methods such as webscraping and machine learning to study economic markets from a political and cultural perspective. His research examines a variety of topics, including the rise of medical and recreational marijuana markets in the United States, the relationship between social movements and markets in DIY organizations, the construction of masculinity among pick-up artists, and the role of finance in shaping higher education.

Elise HerralaElise Herrala is a PhD candidate in Sociology. She has taught extensively at UC Berkeley, including courses on culture, gender, and social theory, and has also served as an undergraduate honors thesis mentor. Her own research focuses on Russian contemporary art. Positioned at the intersection of sociology, art history, and cultural studies, her dissertation examines how socialism, political and economic crisis, and globalization have shaped the field of art in Russia. Outside of the university, she has worked as a Curatorial Intern in the Painting and Sculpture Department at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Elise received a BA in Sociology from the University of Michigan, an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics, and has also studied in Finland and Russia.

Graham HillGraham Hill is a PhD candidate in Sociology. He is originally from rural Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in History and Comparative Literature. Before coming to Berkeley he lived for three years in France, where he completed a Master’s degree in History at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He is a sociologist of politics and religion with a particular interest in the overlap of these two sub-fields. His dissertation, based on two years of ethnographic research with a Charismatic Christian businessmen's fellowship in Mexico, examines the attempts of this organization and its members to find new sources of meaning and different practical possibilities in spaces in between religion and politics.

Katherine Eva MaichKatherine Eva Maich is a doctoral candidate in Sociology with a background in labor studies, women's studies, and literature. Originally from the Midwest, she has worked for housing rights in Camden, NJ, organized recycling plant workers in Boston, MA, driven refrigerated food trucks in Raleigh, NC, and interviewed household workers in Peru, Guatemala, Uruguay, and Hong Kong. Kate's broad research interests include social movements, labor and work, gender, social theory, and qualitative methods. Her dissertation, “The Politics of ‘After’: Social Consequences of Domestic Worker Legislation in the U.S. and Latin America,” analyzes when and how the law matters for workers in New York City and Lima, Peru. Kate is a member of the Research Network for Domestic Worker Rights and collaborates with the International Labour Organization, the National Domestic Worker Alliance, and the International Domestic Workers Federation. She loves teaching and is honored to join Berkeley Connect.

Ben Shestakofsky is a PhD candidate in Sociology and a Graduate Fellow with the Center for Ethnographic Research. His research examines online markets and the global configurations of labor behind the screens of the startup economy. Before beginning his graduate studies, Ben was managing editor of an online guide to college admissions, college life, and life after college. At Berkeley, Ben has pursued opportunities to help undergraduates find their voices in the classroom and beyond as a Graduate Student Instructor and Graduate Student Mentor in the Sociology department's honors thesis program. Ben earned his BA in Sociology and American Studies from Wesleyan University.

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Instruction begins: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  1. Week of January 19-22

    OPENING MEETING, Wednesday, January 20th, 5 p.m., 402 Barrows Hall
  2. Week of January 25-29

    Small groups #1
    Getting to know you, getting to know sociology
  3. Week of February 1-5

    Meet Your Mentor: one-on-one meetings with Berkeley Connect Mentors
  4. Week of February 8-12

    Small groups #2
    How to read effectively—and critically.
  5. Week of February 15-19

    Visits to the NEW Berkeley art museum

    Meet Your Mentor, continued: one-on-one meetings with Berkeley Connect Mentors
  6. Week of February 22-26

    Small groups #3
    How do you research society, anyway?
  7. Week of February 29-March 4

    Panel on undergrad research: Tuesday, March 1, 5 p.m.
    420 Barrows

    With Leah Carroll, Office of Undergraduate Research and a panel of undergraduate researchers

    Reception to follow

    Office Hours
  8. Week of March 7-11

    Small groups #4
    Getting feedback, using comments constructively
  9. Week of March 14-18

    Berkeley Connect Program Career Panel for the Social Sciences and Humanities with Berkeley Sociology Alumni and Career Center Experts

    March 16

    Office Hours

    *****MARCH 21-25: SPRING BREAK*****
  10. Week of March 28-April 1

    Small groups #5
    Concepts that change how we see the world
  11. Week of April 4-8

    Event: “Berkeley Sociologists Think about the 2016 Elections”
    Wednesday, April 6, 5 p.m.
    420 Barrows

    With Professors Irene Bloemraad and Cihan Tugal

    Reception to follow
  12. Week of April 11-15

    Small groups #6
    Life after Berkeley
  13. Week of April 18-22

    Office Hours
  14. Week of April 25-29

    Small groups #7
    What is Sociology For?

    Friday, April 29th: Classes end

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Click HERE to see a complete list of all available Berkeley Connect sections in Sociology.

To find Fall 2016 sections, search the Schedule of Classes for Sociology 98BC (for first-year and sophomores) or 198BC (for juniors and seniors).

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 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