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

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top


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.

Back to Top

berkeley connect mentors

Graham Hill
is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department. Born and raised in rural Colorado, Graham spent three years after college in France where he studied social theory and worked on migration policy research. In his graduate work in the Sociology Department at UC Berkeley he has continued his study of social theory and migration. He also studies political sociology and the sociology of religion, with a particular interest in the overlap of these two sub-fields. His dissertation, based on two years of ethnographic research with a neo-charismatic Christian businessmen's organization in Mexico, follows this organization and its members' attempts to find new sources of meaning and different practical possibilities in the space in between religion and politics.

Pablo Gaston
is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. He grew up Boston, Massachusetts and Havana, Cuba, and studied sociology and development economics as an undergraduate. Pablo’s research is on the connections between markets and the forms of union mobilization. His dissertation is about the response of healthcare unions to the marketization of healthcare in the 1980s and 1990s. He has also written about how the financialization of commercial real estate affected union governance. Before coming to Cal, Pablo worked as a strategic researcher for several labor unions on the east coast. He’s currently active within his own union, the UC Student Workers Union – UAW Local 2865.

Jen Schradie
is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Center for New Media. She has a master’s degree in sociology from UC Berkeley and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. She studies social class, social media and social movements. Her broad research agenda is to interrogate digital democracy claims in America. After she published two articles on digital production inequality in Poetics and Information, Communication and Society, the publicity she garnered from these publications earned her the 2012 Public Sociology Alumni Prize at UC Berkeley. With a National Science Foundation Grant, she is researching the relationship between technology and democracy among social movement and labor organizations in the American South. Before entering academia, Jen directed six documentary films, including “The Golf War – a story of land, golf and revolution in the Philippines.” Most of her films, however, focused on social movements confronting corporate power in the American rural South. Schradie’s documentaries have screened at more than 25 film festivals and 100 universities.

Ana Villarreal
is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation examines the impact of increased violence and fear of crime on everyday life in urban Mexico. Drawing on two years of qualitative research conducted in Monterrey during a period of gruesome drug violence, Ana argues widespread fear may trigger a simultaneous process of tearing and tightening of the social fabric. While most related scholarship focuses on perceptions of fear, this dissertation examines fear as a set of practices and how these relate to the construction of trust and the forging of social resilience at an urban scale. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she received an M.A. in Sociology from the Université de Provence in France and a B.A. in Social Sciences and Humanities from the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. Her research has been funded by SSRC, UC MEXUS, AAUW, CONACYT and UC Berkeley. 

Kara Alexis 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. Her dissertation explores how emotional attachments to food reproduce social inequality. 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 where she investigates the emotional associations that individuals in different social structural locations have around buying and eating food. She is interested in how these emotions affect food choice and work to reproduce food related health inequality. 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. 

Back to Top


Draft Syllabus, Berkeley Connect in Sociology, Spring 2014

1. Wednesday, January 22: Opening Meeting, 6 pm

2. Week of January 27 -31:

Monday- Thursday, January 27-30, Small group meetings #1: Getting to know you

3. Week of February 3-7

Monday-Friday, February 3-7, Meet Your Mentor: individual meetings with Berkeley Connect Fellows

4. Week of February 10-14

Monday-Thursday, February 3-6: Small group meetings #2, Reading Like a Sociologist

5. Week of February 17- 21

Monday-Friday, office hours

Wednesday, February 19, 5 p.m.  Event: “The Book or Experience that Made Me a Professor

Three Berkeley Sociology Professors TBA

6. Week of February Feb. 24-28

Mon-Thursday, February 24-27: Small group meetings #3, "Theory: Meet Data: Asking Questions and Discovering Answers"

7. Week of March 3-7

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

8. Week of March 10-14

Monday-Friday: office hours.

Wednesday, March 8, 5 p.m.  Panel on Undergraduate Research Opportunities

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

9. Week of March 17-21

Monday-Thursday, March 17-20,: Small group meetings #4, Tech and Gadgets: how they help and how they hinder.


10. Week of March 31-April 4

Office hours/course selection advising

11. Week of April 7-11

Office hours/course selection advising

Telebears Begins Monday, April 7th.

Wednesday, April 9,,  4 p.m. Career Panel: Berkeley Sociology Alumni

12. Week of April 14-18

Monday-Thursday, April 14-17: Small group meetings #5,  Everyone argues….but what counts as a sociological argument?

13. Week of April 21-25

Office Hours

14. Week of April 28-May 2

Monday-Thursday, April 28-May 1: Small group meetings #6: What is Sociology For?

Friday, May 2: classes end

15 Week of May 5-9 RRR Week

Tuesday, May 6, 6 p.m.  Study Break, ,420 Barrows

Back to Top


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, Wed 5-6pm (junior transfers)
• Sociology 198BC Section 5, CCN 83133 Wed 6-7pm (upper division)
• Sociology 198BC Section 6, CCN 83136 Thurs 5-6pm (upper division)
• Sociology 198BC Section 7, CCN 83139, Thurs 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.


Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

links & resources