Berkeley Connect faculty director Bree Rosenblum and a research subject
(Photo credit: Elena Zhukova)

Dear Berkeley Connectors:

Welcome to a new semester and a new year.

And what a new year it is! We are—individually and collectively—still living through much sorrow, trauma, and challenge. But change is in the air. It feels electric, hopeful, and like it carries a personal message for each of us. In my own life, I am experiencing a lot of old assumptions crumbling—about  myself, my career, and the world—while new possibilities are beginning to take root. I’m taking more time to listen, to sense into what this new year has to offer, and to cultivate a courageous spirit.

In periods of change, I find myself even more grateful for Berkeley Connect. Every year, thousands of students across Cal come together in Berkeley Connect to do something simple but radical: To affirm the power of community. To turn strangers into friends. To proclaim loudly that each and every one of us belongs.

I encourage you to really invest in your Berkeley Connect community this semester. Many of us have felt particularly isolated during this year of remote learning. But we can come together in new ways. We can build meaningful friendships and lasting community just by bringing ourselves fully to it.

Each of you has an amazing part to play in the story of Berkeley Connect and in the adventure of 2021. We are so lucky to have you in our community.

With best wishes for a transformative semester,

Bree Rosenblum

Director, Berkeley Connect

Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management