Back to All Events

Surfing @ the Other Doheny w/ Vanessa Gomez Brake {Religious Life}

  • Doheny State Beach 25300 Harbor Drive Dana Point, CA 92629 United States (map)

GET PITTED, DUDE, SOOO PITTED.  If you've always wanted to learn how to surf, this is your chance! Born and raised on the island of Guam, newly-appointed Associate Dean of Religious Life Vanessa Gomez Brake is excited to share her passion for surfing with her students.  And her dog.  She will be sharing her beloved dog, Tofu, with us.  

YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO SWIM.  (Otherwise this is dangerous for you and for us, and that's not cool.  We reserve the right to determine your swimming ability and to determine whether you can surf or not with us.)

We will depart from USC in the morning and arrive at Doheny State Beach at around 9am.  Surfboard rental is included in the price of the trip.  Wetsuits will be rented, but make sure you have a sturdy swimsuit so it won't be easily knocked off by the waves (has ties / no strapless).


  • swimsuit

  • water bottle

  • towel

  • flip flops

  • sunscreen

  • dry clothes

Tofu & fried chicken

Tofu & fried chicken


PEAK: Doheny State Beach

Not the library!


SCENERY: California's 1st State Beach


Formerly know as "Killer Dana," Doheny State Beach was home to one of the greatest right-hand breaks in CA before the harbor was built.

According to Wikipedia, "Edward Laurence Doheny was an American oil tycoon who, in 1892, drilled the first successful oil well in the Los Angeles City Oil Field."


PROFESSOR: Vanessa Gomez Brake

Associate Dean of Religious Life

Vanessa Gomez Brake is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. In her role, she works to support and promote university religious and spiritual life broadly conceived and helps oversee nearly 100 student-led religious groups and 50 religious directors on campus. As an accomplished Filipino folk dancer and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa has performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall for Filipino American History Month celebrations.

- 3 fun facts

  1. I am a vegetarian, but my dog Tofu makes me feed him fried chicken regularly.

  2. I am the first humanist/atheist in American history to lead religious life on a university campus.

  3. I grew up on Guam, a small island in the Pacific with less than 100,000 residents.


TRIP LEAD: Katherine Cheng

Your favorite, washed up, 6th year (what???) / super super senior, Peaks Trip Lead.

Contact Katherine:

Read her bio here

Read her spotlight here

ADDRESS: Doheny State Beach