Berkeley Connect

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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 History. We’re excited to get to know you!

About Berkeley Connect in History

At the heart of Berkeley are its undergraduates. We invite you to come and join our world-class faculty and our graduate students in lively conversation and discussions about both history and the Berkeley experience. Through Berkeley Connect in History, you will have the chance to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, meet the people you’ve always wanted to meet, and join an intellectual community second to none. Along the way, you will learn some of tricks of the historical trade, explore the Berkeley campus with a dedicated mentor, and meet a fantastic group of peers. Your Berkeley won’t be the same!

Program Description

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect in History 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 or recent PhDs in History, 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 History. 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 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.

Berkeley Connect Mentors

Benjamin DanielsBenjamin Daniels recently received a PhD in History from UC Berkeley.

Where did you grow up?

Cleveland, Ohio

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

University of Cincinnati, Classics

How would you describe your research in a sentence or two?

Using textual, archaeological, and art historical evidence, I am writing a history of Wu and Yue, two “barbarian” kingdoms that flourished 2500 years ago. This is made difficult, because ancient Chinese histories about Wu and Yue were written hundreds of years after the fall of these kingdoms and are literary productions, not records of actual events.

Paulina HartonoPaulina Hartono recently received a PhD in History from UC Berkeley.

Where did you grow up?

Temple City, CA and Cerritos, CA

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

UC Berkeley; Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

How would you describe your research in a sentence or two?

I research the history of radio broadcasting and technology in twentieth-century China.

Semester Activities

Date Meeting Topic
September 1st and 2nd Group meeting 1 Welcome orientation/ Beginning the semester!
September 8th and 9th Individual Meetings Getting acquainted
September 15th and 16th Group meeting 2 Life at Cal: Strategies to navigate obstacles and excel in college
September 22nd and 23rd Open Mentoring Hours
September 29th and 30th Group meeting 3 What is History? Breaking down history as an academic discipline
October 6th and 7th Open Mentoring Hours
October 13th and 14th Group meeting 4 How to foster strong faculty/mentor relationships
October 20th and 21st Group meeting 5 Studying and reading in college
October 27th 5 PM All Sections Field Trip Meeting with an archivist: How to navigate real and virtual archives
October 27th and 28th Open mentoring hours
November 3rd and 4th Group meeting 6 What we do as historians: research, citation styles, and methods
  November 10th and 11th Individual Meetings Plans for the future
November 17th and 18th Group meeting 7 Mobilizing history to effect positive change
November 24th and 25th Thanksgiving Break
December 1st and 2nd Open mentoring hours
TBA Faculty Panel Berkeley professors share their insights

Berkeley Connect requires no homework assignments, papers, or exams. You are simply required to participate. What do we mean by participation?  For the two one-on-one mentoring sessions, we expect you to respect your mentor’s time by showing up promptly and prepared to engage in an honest conversation about your academic interests, goals, concerns, challenges, etc. The section meetings are designed to involve students in interactive discussions and activities. The more students share their ideas, opinions, and perspectives, the more valuable these sessions will be–for you and for your fellow students. We understand that some students are more comfortable speaking in group settings than others. We strive to provide ways for students to interact in pairs and small groups, and to contribute in various ways. You don’t have to be a frequent speaker in order to be an engaged participant; listening is also a powerful way of being present. We do ask that you give your fellow students your full attention, and that you commit to being an engaged member of the group, even if you do so quietly. This means, among other things, putting away all screen devices unless you’ve been invited to use them for a specific activity. Meeting these expectations will allow you to reap the full benefit of participating in Berkeley Connect, and make your presence a benefit to others.

Attendance policy: You are allowed to miss a maximum of two (2) meetings and still pass the course. This counts group meetings, individual meetings, field trips, etc. Nonetheless, you will get much more out of Berkeley Connect if you attend all meetings; there is no homework, meetings happen only about once every other week, and the schedule is designed to be accommodating for students.


To find sections in the upcoming semester, search the Schedule of Classes for History 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 History, you enroll in a designated section of History 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 History, please contact:  Camilo Lund-Montano  at or Christopher Bonura at

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

Links & Resources