Rob Eckard is the associate director of community relations and special events at Emerson Los Angeles (ELA). He oversees all of the processes related to event management at ELA—for both internal and sponsored events. He leads the strategic planning of the extra and co-curricular calendars, as well as coordinates all support services (facilities, IT, security, etc.) during the semester.
Eckard works on strengthening ELA’s relationship with local nonprofits, businesses, and government offices. This includes facilitating the community’s use of spaces at ELA. This spring, ELA will be hosting Project Prom for Operation School Bell for the third year in a row. More than 200 low-income and/or homeless youth will be able to visit a boutique prom dress shop in ELA’s Bordy space. Eckard also attends community events and tables for the College.
He started working at Emerson five years ago as an assistant residence director right before the LA program moved into its permanent facility. Additionally, he is adjunct faculty for the Low-Residency MFA Writing for Film and TV program. This spring, he will be teaching the Writing Series Television workshop. This summer, he will co-direct the Global Pathways Screenwriters’ Lab in Greece with Professor Jean Stawarz.
When asked what he likes most about working at Emerson, he said, “I attended Emerson as an undergraduate, and the same things that drew me to the institution as a bright-eyed 18-year-old from Texas have held true as an employee. It’s a community of passionate, creative artists and makers who challenge each other to do their best work.” He appreciates that he’s been encouraged and supported to pursue his own creative interests outside of the office. He enrolled in the first class of Emerson’s Low-Residency MFA program in Writing for Film and TV and graduated this past May.
After graduating from Emerson with a bachelor’s in Educational Theatre, Eckard attended NYU for a master’s program in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities. During grad school, he focused on community-focused arts work and taught theater at a medium-security men’s prison in Fishkill, NY. After graduating from NYU, he worked in arts programming at Stanford University. He then moved back to New York City to work in residence life at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology. When the opportunity to work at ELA arose, it was too good for him to pass up, so he made yet another cross-country move.
Eckard grew up in Arlington, Texas, “which manifests in my overuse of the word ‘y’all’ during group meetings.” He currently lives in the Beverly Grove area of LA with one of his classmates from his MFA program. One of his main hobbies is watching a lot of TV, which he claims as necessary research for his writing career. His current favorite TV shows are Fleabag, The Good Place, and any franchise of The Real Housewives. He keeps himself on a writing schedule by running a weekly screenwriters’ group that meets at ELA. He also enjoys hiking and searching for the perfect breakfast burrito.
Nancy Howell (Marketing)