New to CPRC - Rob Eschmann

This is a series to introduce CPRC members to a broader community.

January 11, 2022
Rob Eschmann

Discipline/Training Background: Sociology and Social Work

Department: Columbia School of Social Work

Started at Columbia: 2021

What research are you working on currently? 

I’m doing research on the barriers to responding to racism and racial microaggressions, and working towards developing a virtual reality-based intervention to train folks in how to effectively respond to racism in interpersonal situations and educational settings. 

What motivated you to research in your specialized subject matter?  

I began studying race, education, and education reform as a means of combating racial inequality and empowering communities of Color. My journey to studying technology emerged from seeing a disconnect between dominant theories of racism – which describe modern racism as covert, and the way racism often appears online – more overt. 

What are the policies or areas of policies to which your work is relevant?

Education and health policies.

Main collaborators at Columbia? Elsewhere? 

I’m fortunate to have worked with a long list of brilliant scholars. My two most frequent collaborators have been Desmond Patton, also here at Columbia, who I have worked with since we were both graduate students at the University of Chicago, and Jacob Groshek, who I began working with when we were both at Boston University, and who is now at Kansas State University. 

Don't be shy; what accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

I recently finished my book, When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age, which is forthcoming with the University of California Press. This book represents nearly a decade of research and I’m excited to share it with the world soon!   

If people want to learn more about your research, where should they start? 

My website,, or my Twitter, @robeschmann.

Fun fact about you:

I love to play basketball and typically hit the courts a few times a week. I’m also an avid Fortnite player, and my kids love to brag about “carrying” me to victory.