Wrapping up a semester of Berkeley Connect

Hi, I am Katherine Wang (Class of 2016), and I was this year’s Communications Assistant at Berkeley Connect. If you are a student in Berkeley Connect, you may have seen me running around taking pictures at your small group meetings and special events, or you may know me from my posts here.

As Communications Assistant, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Berkeley Connect experience and to share it here to others. From going to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology with students from ESPM to participating in conversations about space travel in Physics, I got to see what Berkeley Connect students were up to, and learned a lot about things that I knew very little about. Unlike most students, who were part of only one department, I got the chance to see a little of everything, so as an observer I gained a lot as well. I didn’t even know that the Bancroft Library was open to undergraduates until I tagged along with a group of Berkeley Connect History students for a tour of their vast collection! There were so many interesting topics and panels and events–it hardly felt like work to participate in them.

I also got to see the graduate student mentors in action during the small-group discussion sessions, and observe just how much other students were enjoying themselves in this program. At the beginning, everyone seemed a bit more reserved in small groups, but by the end, it was clear that all the students felt comfortable. I remember having pages and pages of notes and realizing it was impossible to fit into a post all the lively conversations I heard in small groups as well as at the events. Every student I talked to told me they loved it, and it made me wish I had signed up myself.

I really enjoyed my time here and feel fortunate to have shared a part of this experience with all the Berkeley Connect students. It was definitely an eventful first semester, and I had fun trying to capture it here on this blog in words and pictures.

Have a great summer, and maybe I’ll see you in Berkeley Connect again this fall!

Comments to “Wrapping up a semester of Berkeley Connect

  1. This is the first time that I have heard about Berkeley Connect. It sounds like a fabulous and valuable concept. I asked my daughter about it (she finished her freshman year last year) and she is unfamiliar with it as well. She is studying art and film and it appears that neither of those departments has a “Berkeley Connect”. Who initiates this program in any given department, and why don’t the art and film departments have this program?

    Thank you, Mindy Mann

  2. Dear Ms. Mann,
    Thank you for your feedback! We are working hard to get the word out to all students about this new program, which just launched in Spring 2014. We currently have funding to operate in 11 departments (spread across the arts and humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields) and are actively fund-raising in order to expand to more departments in the future. Students do not need to be majoring in one of the participating departments in order to enroll. Many students are able to find a Berkeley Connect program that interests them, either one that is related to their (declared or prospective) major, or in a different field that they would like to learn more about. I hope your daughter will choose to participate in Berkeley Connect during her time at Cal!

    All best,
    Michele Rabkin
    Associate Director, Berkeley Connect

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