Jeffrey Billard, M.Ed. holds a Master's degree in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University and a B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He teaches in the Graduate School of Professional Studies at Northeastern University in Boston and has also taught American Literature & History, writing, poetry, drama, film and television production for twenty-four years at the high school and middle school levels. As Assistant Director of the Barnstable High School Drama Club from 1994 to 2001, Jeff was involved in over thirty productions as a director, assistant director, singer, and actor. Jeff also collaborated on writing three chapters for The Stage and the School, a performing arts textbook published by McGraw-Hill.
Jeff went to Vietnam in 1997 to study at the University of Hue and has written, directed, and performed in his play Voices Across the Wall dealing with issues from the Vietnam War and has written and performed I, Vietnam a one-man theatrical piece as well. He also co-authored and performed the play Waiting for Ingivelse with Keith Caldwell. He has also written a collection of poetry around the Vietnam War entitled Poetry of Conscience and a second called Circle Intact dealing primarily with the war in Iraq as well as PTSD. Jeff has also been a featured poet at the Provincetown Poetry and Literary Arts Festival. Jeff was awarded an NEH Fellowship to study at the Summer Teacher Institute-Teaching the Vietnam War at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston in 1996.
Jeff developed and teaches Integrated Teaching Through the Arts and Drama and Poetry Across the Curriculum with his colleague Keith Caldwell at Northeastern University in Boston. The two have also co-authored a text for use in the course. Jeff and Keith facilitate teacher training workshops as well.
Jeff believes that integrating the arts into education engages and energizes students while allowing them to make connections with prior knowledge and relate it to their own lives. Allowing students to discover their own learning through the arts is a key to engaging them and promoting them to gain their own knowledge. Jeff firmly believes that each student, no matter what their age, has something unique to “add to the conversation” and that integrating the arts is the conduit to making that happen.