The Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Awards are administered by the Graduate Division in collaboration with the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate, funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Carol Soc, a former employee of the Graduate Division.

Funding for these awards from 2006-2012 was provided by the Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. The mentoring awards were a part of the Sarlo Awards Teaching for Excellence program, established in 1997 to honor outstanding faculty at outstanding Northern California colleges and Universities.

About Carol D. Soc

Carol D. Soc

Carol D. Soc served the University of California, Berkeley, as Graduate Division Director of Academic Affairs and in other capacities, for a half-century, only ending with her untimely illness and death in 2012. Her stellar service to graduate education was marked by selfless attention and an extraordinary concern for the well-being of graduate students and faculty alike. It is fitting that her bequest to the Graduate Division is the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award, which recognizes faculty who are exceptional in mentoring their graduate students as scholars, researchers, and future faculty.

Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1938, Carol moved with her parents at a tender age to Burbank, California, to improve her health. The cultural move to the United States was complete as well – Carol’s favorite childhood photograph was of her posing in a lavishly-fringed cowgirl outfit. After growing up in southern California and earning her bachelor’s degree in History, with Spanish as a secondary field, at Occidental College, Carol felt the lure of northern California. She first came to Berkeley to study to be a History teacher, but her first teaching assignment was for a high school Spanish class, which was not to her liking. A friend suggested that she work at Berkeley, rather than be a student. She secured a job as a senior typist clerk at the Graduate Division, then located in the basement of California Hall, where her first assignment was to type labels. Carol’s Graduate Division career clearly did not end there.

At the point of her retirement in 2000, an event celebrated by award of the Berkeley Citation for her distinguished service and attended by the Cal Band and Oski himself, she had advanced to the responsibility level of Assistant Dean with a working title of Director of Academic Affairs and served in this capacity for over 25 years.

Happy to be recalled after her retirement, she continued to devote herself to Graduate Division concerns, the heart of which is assisting Berkeley’s graduate students to achieve their academic goals and upholding the Berkeley faculty’s degree standards. Through the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award, Carol’s utter devotion to the campus and its graduate students continues.