Pac-12 profile: Cal rower on hard work, discipline

The Cal women’s crew team has earned its 17th straight NCAA bid after winning the Pac-12 title — the team’s seventh title in the past eight years. Cal is one of five Pac-12 teams to earn a bid to the championships, along with USC, Stanford, Washington State and Washington.

Vanessa Gerber, a member of the women’s crew team at UC Berkeley, is an interdisciplinary studies major with a focus on conservation and research studies. (Video by Pac-12 Networks)

Vanessa Gerber is a member of the Cal team and a senior at UC Berkeley. In a documentary that profiles students from each of the Pac-12 campuses— Conference of Champions — Gerber discusses her life as an interdisciplinary studies major at Berkeley and what it means to be a part of the crew team. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks also talks about the extraordinary students on campus, dedicated to making a difference in the world.

Gerber says crew is unlike any other sport she’s experienced. “The feeling on the water and the synchronicity with your teammates is an unparalleled experience,” she says. To succeed in athletics and academics, she says, requires discipline, hard work and accountability.

She says she’s inspired by the diversity on campus — of people, cultures, student organizations and academic opportunities. “Cal is for people who are excited about the world around them and are ready to engage in it,” she says.

The 2015 NCAA Division Championships will be held May 29-31 in Gold River, California.

To watch all 12 segments from the one-hour documentary, visit the Pac-12 Networks website.