Bridge Connect

Cristina Mora

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program open to all students at UC Berkeley—thousands of students enroll each year. Bridge Connect is a specially designed version of Berkeley Connect for Summer Bridge participants.

Through Bridge Connect you will be matched with a graduate student who will be your personal mentor for the summer. You will also be placed in a small group of your peers that will meet weekly for discussions facilitated by your mentor. Through one-on-one and group mentoring, you will start to build your intellectual community and support network at UC Berkeley.

The Berkeley Connect motto is “you belong here.” Students tell us that Berkeley Connect mentoring helps them connect with other students and with professors; increases their awareness of resources available to them on campus; and boosts their sense of confidence and belonging at UC Berkeley.

Learning in community is more fulfilling and effective than learning alone. We can’t wait to Connect with you!

—Christian Mora, Faculty Director, Bridge Connect

Program Description

At the heart of Bridge Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Bridge Connect mentors are advanced graduate students, or recent PhDs, 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.

You will meet one-on-one with your mentor at least twice, once near the beginning of the session and once near the end. At these meetings you will be able to talk with your mentor about your goals and aspirations, your questions and concerns—anything you want related to your academic life.

Your mentor will also hold open mentoring hours every week, giving you additional opportunities to check in and make the most of his/her support and expertise throughout the session.

Your small group will meet every week for an hour-long discussion session facilitated by your mentor. Discussions will focus on exploring the research university environment and how you will chart your own path through it—how you will identify and connect with the people, places, and programs that can help you achieve your academic goals. The small group discussions are designed to build connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community.

Bridge Connect carries one unit of academic credit, and is offered Pass/Not Pass. In order to pass, you simply need to attend, participate, and complete the required surveys. Bridge Connect will not add to your study load or stress load. Bridge Connect will offer you opportunities for reflection, exploration, and connection as you begin your journey through UC Berkeley.

Faculty

Cristina MoraChristina Mora is an Associate Professor of Sociology and faculty director of Berkeley Connect in Sociology.

Where did you spend your childhood?  

Los Angeles, California

Where did you go to college? What was your major?  

BA, UC Berkeley, PhD, Princeton; Sociology.

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

I do research on racial and immigration politics in the US and Europe. My current book project examines these issues across three major California regions: LA County, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley.


Meet Your Mentor

Allan CabreroAllan Cabrero is a PhD candidate in ESPM.

Where did you grow up?

Chula Vista, CA

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

San Diego State University – Biology with Zoology emphasis

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

I study the evolution and diversification of bee flies, the cutest flies you will ever see!


Daniel Khokhar is a PhD candidate in Philosophy.

Where did you grow up?

Chicago

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

Indiana University Bloomington – Mathematics; Philosophy

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

My research focuses on the variety of ways in which we address people and the roles such forms of address play in our lives.


Adam ParisAdam Paris is a PhD candidate in Philosophy.

Where did you grow up?

Pennsylvania

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

New York University

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

History of Philosophy.


Laura RitlandLaura Ritland is a PhD candidate in English.

Where did you grow up?

Toronto and Vancouver, Canada

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

I double majored in English and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia

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

My research explores the way the pedagogy of literature (how it was taught) has impacted the way that we study literature today. I’m especially interested in the politics of this issue: how can we teach and study literature in more “democratic” ways? I’m also a writer (a poet!). My first book, East and West, was published in 2018.


Jasmine SandersJasmine Sanders is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Mobile, Alabama

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

Spelman College in Atlanta, GA; I was an English major.

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

My overarching research interests are organizations, culture, and inequality. My current research explores the decline in NCAA Division I athletes who identify as first-generation college students and uses an organizational lens to understand the role of culture, access and privilege.


Isabel Garcia ValdiviaIsabel Garcia Valdivia is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Joliet, IL

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

Pomona College (Claremont, CA), Chicanx Latinx Studies and Sociology

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

I study how older Mexican-origin adults come to understand their immigration status and its effects on their daily lives (social, economic, emotional) and how they experience shifts as they move from middle adulthood to late adulthood.


Mariana VicariaMariana Vicaria recently received her PhD in Math from UC Berkeley.

Where did you grow up?

Colombia

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

Universidad de Los Andes, Mathematics

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

I am interested in the model theory of valued fields and related structures, such as ordered abelian groups. I am working to obtain elimination of imaginaries in multivalued fields and residue field domination results.


William Welsh is a PhD candidate in Sociology.

Where did you grow up?

Phoenix, AZ

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

Swarthmore College, Sociology (math minor)

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

I study the connection between historical changes in punishment and the origins of labor markets in early modern England, Japan, and Scotland, and contemporary China. I ask how households’ receipt of income from “informal” sources such as begging, swindling, and theft affect their incentives to enter labor contracts, and how punishments for these activities that preserve convicts’ ability to work affect the same incentives in the opposite direction.


Katherine WolfKatherine Wolf is a PhD student in ESPM.

Where did you grow up?

Wheaton, Illinois

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

Vassar College, Music (then Yale for an MPH in environmental health sciences and a MESc in environmental science)

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

I investigate where federal and state governments site pollution monitors in the United States.


Semester Plan

Bridge Connect Summer 2019 **DRAFT** Schedule

Details subject to change

WEEK 1 (week of July 8) Beginning the journey of discovery

Small-group discussion: What is mentoring and how can we seek mentors throughout our time at Cal?

Start-of-semester survey

Online reflection exercise

WEEK 2 (week of July 15) Taking advantage of opportunities at the research university

Small-group discussion: What makes a research university special and how can we best navigate the opportunities at Cal?

Online reflection exercise

One-on-one meetings with mentors

Field trip option #1: Berkeley Art Museum

WEEK 3 (week of July 22) Addressing challenges at the research university

Small-group discussion: What are common challenges encountered at a research university and how can we address them?

Online reflection exercise

Open mentoring hours

WEEK 4 (week of July 29) Getting to know the faculty and their stories

Small-group discussion: What are the best ways to get support from professors during our time at Cal?

Faculty guest speakers

Field trip option #2: Natural history museums

Online reflection exercise

Open mentoring hours

WEEK 5 (week of Aug 5) Creating your own discovery experience at Cal

Small-group discussion: What are opportunities to tailor our time at Cal through research, community engagement, entrepreneurship, or creative work?

Field trip option #3: Bancroft Library

Online reflection exercise

Open mentoring hours

WEEK 6 (week of Aug 12) Setting your goals and intentions

Small-group discussion: What are our goals and aspirations for the next leg of the journey at Cal?

One-on-one meetings with mentors

Online reflection exercise

Exit survey

How to Sign Up

Bridge Connect in a core component of the Summer Bridge curriculum; all participants will automatically have Bridge Connect added to their summer course schedule. No additional step is needed to sign up.

If you would like to continue with Berkeley Connect during the academic year, you can enroll in Berkeley Connect (98BC) for the Fall or Spring during the regular course selection process. Berkeley Connect is offered through 14 different academic departments and is open to all students regardless of declared or intended major.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions about Bridge Connect, please contact:

Please see our FAQs.  If you have additional questions about Bridge Connect, please contact: G. Cristina Mora, Faculty Director, cmora@berkeley.edu.

Michele Rabkin, Associate Director, micheler@berkeley.edu, (510)664-4182