We invited students participating in Berkeley Connect in Spring 2016 to enter our Berkeley Connect Student Voice Contest and share with us a memorable experience they had in Berkeley Connect. The second of three winning entries was written by Danielle Veloso, who participated in Berkeley Connect in Sociology.
My favorite moment in Berkeley Connect for Sociology was when Professor Mora-Torres came to speak, which led to the entire class engaging in a discussion about racial labeling. I really identified with professor Mora-Torres when she shared that her current research is about racial labels for Hispanics and Asians, since I am half-Chinese/half-Argentinian and have never really identified with either. The first 3 semesters of my undergraduate had been very confusing because I hadn’t yet found a subject I was passionate about. I felt as if I was wasting the short amount of time I’ve been blessed to have at Berkeley. This moment in Berkeley Connect helped me realize that sociology is what I’m meant to study and that it is completely possible to find a promising career with a sociology degree. Being surrounded by peers who share similar interests and having very personal interactions with Berkeley staff is what makes learning from Berkeley Connect so meaningful. In this moment, as I was sitting next to one of the most brilliant sociology professors in the world, Berkeley Connect helped me feel empowered in my potential as a student and biracial individual.