Marian Hall residence director wants to build happy, holy community

Photo by Ben Rose-Fish

Summer Derwald
Staff Writer

Graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor’s degree in catechetics in 2020, and a masters in theology in 2021, Cameron Erickson moved back into Marian Hall this fall semester to serve as its dedicated residence director.

Apart from meeting her future husband during her time at Franciscan, Erickson said her favorite thing about Franciscan is the community.

As RD, Erickson is especially devoted to the community in Marian. She said the Marian community tradition that is most special to her is when the Marian resident assistants sing “Immaculate Mary” on every floor at the beginning of quiet hours.

It is “so powerful to call on (Mary’s) intercession … every night,” Erickson said.

While being present to the community in Marian is one of her most prominent responsibilities, Erickson said that her “main priority is to equip students with the resources available … on campus.”

Erickson described the role of an RD as the “link between students and the rest of the university.

“I can help them get access to the wellness center, student success offices, academic services … financial aid… basically any department on campus,” said Erickson.

Another aspect of her job as RD that Erickson takes very seriously is promoting community life — making Marian a home away from home.

Erickson said this responsibility is one she shares with her RAs, who “are pretty great at doing that,” she said.

Included in this responsibility is Erickson’s devotion to making sure that every Marian resident “has the best chance at living a virtuous life with the Lord and with other people,” which she said includes “disciplining people.”

Besides making sure everyone in Marian is on her best behavior, Erickson ties in a personalized theme for Marian hall.

“My goal is to help the ladies of Marian to lead happy, holy and healthy lives,” she said. “To be thriving, you need to … thrive in all those areas.”

She explained that this devotion was “born out of a growing passion (to recognize) that … we are both body and soul.”

“When one part of us suffers,” said Erickson, “everything else suffers.”

When not in her office around the corner from the Marian lobby, Erickson said she loves going on walks and getting fresh air.

“I’m a plant person,” said Erickson, gesturing to the array of plants in her office. Her “new endeavor” is keeping plants alive. Erickson also enjoys musical theater, which she participated in during her high school and college years. In her years as a student, Erickson participated in the musical “She Loves Me” and performed a solo in “Godspell.”

Erickson is incredibly grateful to Franciscan, as the place where she met “all of (her) best friends” and “incredible mentors.”

From professors to religious, Erickson said she encountered people on campus who shared and understood her core beliefs and allowed her to learn and grow. Most importantly, Erickson shared that she recently solidified one very special relationship — her engagement to senior humanities and Catholic culture major Nathan Ware.

“I didn’t become an RD because I never wanted to leave Franciscan!” Erickson laughed.

Erickson believes that God is calling her to serve the ladies of Marian Hall, and she can be found during her office hours Tuesdays from 8-9 p.m., Wednesdays from 8:30-10p.m., and Fridays at 11 a.m. and from 9-10 p.m.