BERKELEY CONNECT in ETHNIC STUDIES & AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
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 majors in Ethnic Studies and African American Studies. We’re excited to get to know you!
About Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies & African American Studies
Do you enjoy the discussions you have in class and wish you could continue them in a supportive and grade-free environment? Do you ever wonder what professors and graduate students actually do and how they made their way into the academy? Want to learn more about your campus, its resources and history?If so, then join Berkeley Connect in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies. Berkeley Connect offers you an opportunity to build an on-campus community with your fellow students in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies.
The University of California at Berkeley is still the greatest public university in the world. But it can also be overwhelming. It can be easy to feel small and to get lost. Which is why building an on-campus community, one connected to student mentors, engaged faculty and campus resources, is so important. These connections are especially important for students of color, under-represented minorities and anyone dedicated to building a just and equitable climate here at Berkeley. For these students, those of you engaged in the complex, on-going conversation about race, diversity and identity, finding a supportive community of students who share these questions and experiences can make a critical difference in the quality of your time here at Cal.
Berkeley Connect in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies offers a range of activities from one-on-one meetings to small group sessions, study breaks, and field trips. What is unique to our program is that our topics are designed specifically for students interested in our fields: How does the intellectual work of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies relate to communities of color in the politics of the everyday? How do differences in social class impact our experiences at the university? How do we care for ourselves and each other when we are dealing with difficult histories, awkward encounters and institutional structures? And what does one do with an Ethnic Studies or African American Studies major?
There’s more of course to Berkeley Connect — we serve food at every group meeting, there are opportunities to interact in a casual atmosphere with professors, and we host all sorts of field trips and special events. Best of all: no homework and no grades! Sign up and enjoy the conversation and companionship, connect to your friends, the university, and your future.
John J. Dougherty, Senior Fellow, Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies
Berkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in Ethnic Studies and African American Studies. 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 Ethnic Studies and African American Studies majors as a way to foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community for Berkeley undergraduates.The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies and African American Studies is that you have an interest in these fields 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 or recent PhDs in Ethnic Studies or African American Studies, 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 Ethnic Studies and African American Studies. 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 Ethnic Studies and African American Studies 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.
John J. Dougherty (Senior Fellow) received his PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 2014. In his time away from Berkeley, he has been a Postdoctoral Scholar in The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University and a faculty member in History and Environmental Studies at Reed College. His current book project, Flooded by Progress: Law, Natural Resources and Native Rights in the Postwar Pacific Northwest is forthcoming from University of Washington Press. While at UC Berkeley, he was a University of California Dissertation Fellow and an affiliated scholar with the Institute for the Study of Social Issues, the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, and the Center for Race & Gender. He has also taught extensively in Ethnic Studies and Native American Studies.
Kathryn Benjamin Golden received her PhD in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley in 2018. Her areas of specialization are 18th and 19th U.S. slavery, comparative slave resistance, public history, collective memory, and qualitative research methods. Kathryn’s research focuses on marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the politics of race and representation of enslaved resistance in public historical narratives and collective memory. Before her time at Berkeley, Kathryn earned her Master’s in African American Studies at Columbia University. There she served the Institute of Research in African American Studies as the Chief Research Coordinator for the Center for Contemporary Black History.
Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies & African American Studies
Departments of Ethnic Studies and African American Studies
University of California-Berkeley
Ethnic Studies Director: John J. Dougherty, PhD
Office Hours: T.B.A. in 596 Barrows Hall
African American Studies Director: Kathryn Benjamin Golden, PhD
Office Hours: T.B.A.
Do you enjoy the discussions you have in class and wish you could continue them in a supportive and grade-free environment? Do you ever wonder what professors and graduate students actually do and how they made their way into the academy? Want to learn more about your campus, its resources and history? If so, then join Berkeley Connect in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies. Berkeley Connect offers you an opportunity to build an on-campus community with your fellow students in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies.
Berkeley Connect in African American Studies and Ethnic Studies offers a range of activities from one-on-one meetings to small group sessions, study breaks, and field trips. What is unique to our program is that our topics are designed specifically for students interested in our fields: How does the intellectual work of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies relate to communities of color in the politics of the everyday? How do we care for ourselves and each other when we are dealing with difficult histories, awkward encounters and institutional structures? And what does one do with an Ethnic Studies or African American Studies major?
You will get the most out of your Berkeley Connect experience if you participate fully: engage with your peers at the bi-weekly small-group meetings, attend both scheduled one-on-one meetings with your mentor, take advantage of your mentor’s office hours throughout the semester, attend the special events where you can meet professors and alums, and go on the field trip to explore resources available to you on campus or in the community. All of these activities have been organized to give you connections, knowledge, and experiences that will enhance your time at Berkeley.
Berkeley Connect is offered Pass/Not Pass. In order to receive a Pass, you must: 1) attend the bi-weekly small-group sessions (attendance will be taken), not missing more than 2 meetings; 2) participate in both one-on-one meetings with your mentor; 3) attend the special events and the field trip unless you have unavoidable scheduling conflicts, reported in writing in advance; and 4) complete the required exit survey at the end of the semester
Tuesday, January 16:
Welcome event from 5-6:30PM in Barrows 554
Tuesday, January 23:
1st Small Group Meeting: What is Ethnic Studies & African American Studies (and Why do They Matter)?
Tuesday, January 30:
2nd Small Group Meeting: What It Took To Get Here, or, Why go to College?
Tuesday, February 6:
One-on-One Meetings with John and Rob (no small group meetings)
Tuesday, February 13:
3rd Small Group Meeting: How to Communicate with Professors, GSIs and other Weirdos?
Tuesday, February 20:
4th Small Group Meeting: Social Justice in and Beyond the Classroom
Tuesday, February 27:
5th Small Group Meeting: Developing an Intellectual Project at Berkeley
Tuesday, March 6:
Special event: Faculty panel discussion with Chris Zepeda-Milan from 5-7PM in 554 Barrows
Tuesday, March 13:
Special event: Alumni panel discussion from 5-7PM in 554 Barrows
Tuesday, March 20:
Study Break (no meetings this week)
Tuesday, March 27:
Spring Recess (no meetings this week)
Tuesday, April 3:
6th Small Group Meeting: So…what exactly do you do with a degree in that?
Tuesday, April 10:
One-on-One Meetings with John and Rob (no small group meetings)
Tuesday, April 17:
Special event: Field trip to the Ethnic Studies Library
Tuesday, April 24:
7th Small Group Meeting: Moving forward and bow do you define success?
Tuesday, May 1:
Optional Study Break: pizza and conversation from 5:30-6:30PM in 554 Barrows
To find sections in the upcoming semester, search the Schedule of Classes for 98BC (for first-year and sophomores) or 198BC (for juniors and seniors) in either Ethnic Studies or African American Studies.
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.
To participate in Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies and African American Studies, you enroll in a designated section of Ethnic Studies 98 BC or 198BC or African American Studies 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.