Hearst Field Annex B-22
Berkeley CA 94720-2495
Phone: (510) 664-4182
Email: berkeleyconnect@berkeley.edu

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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

Cristina MoraHave 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 G. Cristina Mora
Director, Berkeley Connect in Sociology

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.


G. Cristina Mora (Director)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.

Armando Lara-Milan (Assistant Director)

Armando Lara-Millán earned his PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University in 2013.  Before joining the Department of Sociology, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar in Health Policy Research at UC Berkeley. Professor Lara-Millán is an ethnographer and historical sociologist.  His research is currently focused on studying “reasoning” in a wide range of contexts, including law, medicine, criminal justice, economic pricing, austerity budgeting, and urban poverty governance. He is currently working on two projects. He is completing a book manuscript that examines how austerity-stricken public institutions like public hospitals and county jails are able to, despite disastrous under-funding, provide services to large numbers of people and create an illusion of policy success.  He is also conducting an ethnography of medical pricing that traces how value is assigned to new medical codes and ultimately enters into and shapes household budgets.  His work has appeared in the American Sociological ReviewCriminology, and in the forthcoming volume, The Many Hands of the State. In his spare time, he is an avid fan of the National Basketball Association and Lowrider oldies.

Berkeley Connect Mentors

Carlos BustamanteCarlos Bustamante is a doctoral candidate in Sociology. Originally from the East Bay, he gained experience mentoring through several years of working in Bay Area public education and social justice organizations. He completed his MA in the social sciences at the University of Chicago and his BA in sociology at UC Berkeley. His dissertation researches restricted forms of entertainment in the cities of Oakland, CA; Stockholm, Sweden; and Lima, Peru. Using comparative ethnographic methods, he investigates practices of law enforcement and the ways in which communities respond and resist interventions on the part of police.

Sunmin KimSunmin Kim is a PhD candidate in Sociology. His dissertation project analyzes various forms of contradictions within the racist ideology of the early 20th century, and how those contradictions structured the development of immigration policy. To answer these questions, he visited many archives across the United States, tracing the document trail of the 1911 Dillingham Commission Report—the most comprehensive study of immigrants in U.S. history. In his other projects, he has studied political engagement of immigrants and their children, using both interview and survey data. He is primarily interested in sociology of race and immigration, but welcomes discussions on theory and methods of sociology in general. Before coming to Berkeley, he graduated from Seoul National University in Korea with BA and MA in sociology.

Louise Ly is a PhD candidate in Sociology. Her current research focuses on interracial marriage between Asian and White Americans. Drawing from in-depth interviews, Louise examines if and when race and ethnic differences come up among these couples and within their families and practices, and what these may indicate about assimilation of Asian Americans. In the past, she studied community at a low-income gay and lesbian elder housing facility, and the (de)medicalization of illness among members of pro-anorexia online groups. Originally from San Jose, California, Louise majored in Sociology/Anthropology and minored in Studio Art at UC San Diego. Having been a GSI and mentor to Cal undergrads, she is excited to join Berkeley Connect to further support students, and help forge a supportive community, which she believes to be crucial to excelling at this large university.

Katherine MaichKatherine Maich is a Ph.D. 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, organized recycling plant workers in Boston, driven refrigerated food trucks in Raleigh, and interviewed household workers in Peru, Guatemala, and Hong Kong. Katherine’s research interests include the relationship between gender, work, and identity, with a focus on how domestic worker law shapes the governance of the home. She 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. Katherine enjoyed serving as a Berkeley Connect mentor last year and is thrilled to continue with this important program.

Kristen NelsonKristen Nelson is a PhD candidate in Sociology. She graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Just after beginning as a graduate student at Berkeley, Kristen spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Senegal. Her research applies a sociological lens to understand individual gender and racial attitudes. Her work with students as a GSI has been one of her favorite parts of graduate school, and she is excited to provide students with mentoring support through Berkeley Connect.


Wednesday, January 18th, 5:00PM, 402 Barrows Hall


Week of January 23

SECTION MEETING #1:  Getting to know you, getting to know sociology

MANDATORY Meet Your Mentor Office Hours, First of Two

Week of February 6

SECTION MEETING #2:  How to read effectively – and critically

Tuesday, February 21st

SECTION MEETING #3:  How do you research society, anyway?

Week of February 27th


(We’ll have you sign up for one that fits your schedule)

Week of March 6

SECTION MEETING #4: Getting feedback, using comments constructively

Wednesday, March 15th, 5:00PM, Location TBA

SPECIAL EVENT:  Faculty Panel:  The Book or Event that Inspired Me to Become a Sociology Professor

Week of March 20

SECTION MEETING #5:  Concepts that change how we see the world

Week of April 10

            SECTION MEETING #6:  Life after Berkeley

Wednesday, April 19th, 5:00PM, Location TBA

SPECIAL EVENT:  Career Panel

MANDATORY Meet Your Mentor Office Hours, Second of Two 

Week of April 24

SECTION MEETING #7: What is Sociology For?


To find sections in the upcoming semester, 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.

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.

Contact Us

Please see our FAQs.  If you have additional questions about Berkeley Connect in Sociology, please contact: G. Cristina Mora, Faculty Director, cmora@berkeley.edu.

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

Links & Resources