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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.

Berkeley Connect Mentors

Michel EstefanMichel Estefan is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Mexico City.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

Mexico City, International Relations.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe your research?

I study how legal norms and institutions emerge, change, and decay. I do this in comparative-historical perspective, with a focus on Spain and Mexico.

Thomas TrieuThomas Trieu is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Chicago, IL.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

Pomona College, Sociology.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe your research?

I study how the changing economic and cultural dynamics of Vietnam are reshaping how students learn to think, act, and organize their social worlds. I have worked on a project on the overwhelming popularity of English language instruction and am working on a project that considers Vietnam’s relationship to China and East Asia.

Santiago MolinaSantiago Molina is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Queretaro, Mexico.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

University of Chicago, History and Philosophy of Science.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe your research?

I study how rules for genome editing are made.

Adriana RamirezAdriana Ramirez is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Between Dixon, CA & Acatic, Jalisco in Mexico.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

UC Davis- Anthropology & International Relations.

In a sentence or two, how would you describe your research?

I compare the “return” experiences of US born and Mexican born youth and young adult’s from the US to Oaxaca, Mexico.  Specifically, focusing on how inclusion is constructed in everyday experiences, through identity work youth engage in to make claims on different forms of citizenships in response to a changing context.

Semester Activities

  1. Week of September 2
    OPENING MEETING, Weds, September 4, 5 p.m., 402 Barrows Hall
  2. Week of Sept. 9
    Small groups #1
    First small group meetings: Introductions
  3. Week of Sept. 16
    Meet Your Mentor:  one-on-one meetings with Berkeley Connect Mentors
    Prof Mora BC Special Office Hour: Monday, Sept 16 4-5pm 498 Barrows
  4. Week of Sept. 23
    Small groups #2
    Student Savvy: How to get the most out of your classes, talk to your professors, be productive and do the work without letting it get you down.
  5. Week of Sept. 30
    Meet Your Mentor, continued:  one-on-one meetings with Berkeley Connect Mentors
  6. Week of October 7
    Small groups #3
    The Sociological Imagination
    Prof. Mora BC Sociology Office Hour: Tues October 8 12-1pm 498 Barrows
  7. Week of Oct. 14
    Wednesday  Oct. 16 Undergraduate Research Panel – Room 402 5-6
    Office Hours
  8. Week of October 21
    Small groups #4
    Charting Your Intellectual Path: Internships, Research Apprenticeships, and Choosing Courses
  9. Week of Oct. 28
    Office Hours
  10. Week of Nov 4
    Small groups #5
    Writing like a Berkeley sociologist
  11. Week of Nov. 11
    Nov. 13  Panel: How and Why I Became at Berkeley Sociology Professor
    Office Hours
    Friday, November 10: Veterans Day Holiday
  12. Week of Nov. 18
    Small groups #6
    Sociological Keywords
    Professor Mora Office Hour: November 20 3-4pm 498 Barrows Hall.
  13. Week of Nov. 25
    Office Hours
  14. Week of Dec. 2
    Small groups #7
    Conclusions and Looking Forward


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