Sophomore Reflects: Musical Theatre and Public Relations Double Major Erica Gerold

Erica sitting with friends on the Bunce Steps

Meet sophomore Erica Gerold, a Musical Theatre and Public Relations double major from Philadelphia. She’s also an on-campus resident who resided in Magnolia Hall this past year. Erica tells us more about what she enjoyed most about her first year at Rowan and shares advice for future freshmen.

Erica sitting with friends on the Bunce Hall steps.
Erica sitting with her roommates (from left to right: Mattie Millet, Hannah Kittrell, Erica Gerold and Emilia Weiss).

What did you most enjoy your freshman year at Rowan?Erica taking a selfie.

Something I enjoyed most here at Rowan were the amount of on-campus artistic opportunities I was able to have as a freshman! This past year I have been in directing scenes, written/done voiceover work at the art exhibit, “The Sister Chapel,” performed in our annual Holiday Celebration, “The Vagina Monologues,” devised cabaret “(di$) conn3cT*d” and “Urinetown: The Musical.” I have made amazing friends through our college and learned so much through its chances to create. I truly do not think I would be happier anywhere else.

Could you share with us one happy moment you had with friends, professors or other members of the Rowan community that made you realize Rowan felt like “home”?

Among many things I am beyond grateful to have been involved in this school year, the first that made me feel at home was rehearsing “(di$) conn3cT*d.” I was cast within my first month of moving to college when unfamiliarity was around every corner. Right away not only were the cast/creative team eager to hear the ideas of us freshmen, they were eager to make us feel welcome. I became so close with the people involved with that production, including my new best friend Elliot Colahan. The support the people of Rowan (my profs and classmates alike) have for us is nothing like I have seen anywhere else. Especially as a freshman, their care for me and the rest of my peers filled me with motivation and happiness. They make me feel lucky to be a part of this community.

Erica alongside the cast of a production called The Vagina Monologues.
Erica alongside the cast of The Vagina Monologues (directed by Robin Purtell and Chelsea Sharp, 2020).

What advice do you have for future freshmen looking at colleges right now?

Shadow! Leading up to College Decision Day, I actually had my mind set on committing to a different school. Once your choices are narrowed down, seeing a day in the life of your options really puts things into perspective. Once I shadowed my now dear friend Marisa Pelikan, the decision could not have been clearer that Rowan was the right fit for me (note: If you cannot shadow due to COVID-19, research schools to the best of your online abilities. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to their current students/profs!).

What are you most looking forward to next year at Rowan?

I am most looking forward to honing my skills as a double major! I currently combine my passions of PR and theatre as a member of the social media team for RUTD, a publicity officer for our Lab Theatre organization and the creator/writer for my school blog highlighting the Rowan University Department of Theatre & Dance, RUTDInsider. All of that being said, Public Relations students typically do not start taking major-based classes until their sophomore year. This fall I will be taking three of those classes and I am super excited to put all forthcoming knowledge into my current projects. I will be the first to admit learning/creating in the upcoming school year will be difficult due to the coronavirus, but I hope to push forward in making it happen any way I can.

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Photos provided by:
Erica Gerold

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