Hello! My name is Thomas J Billard, but you can call me TJ. I am currently a PhD candidate in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where I am advised by Professor Larry Gross, and I am Archival Fellow at the National Center for Transgender Equality. I am a young scholar of political communication and media activism, and I have two primary research areas. First, I study the role of communication in the social and political activism of the contemporary U.S. transgender movement. Second, I study typography and graphic design, with a particular interest in the processes of production and meaning encoding. I am also an active member of Professor Henry Jenkins's Civic Paths research group and the Civics and Social Media Research Cluster at USC, where I conduct research on citizen participation in politics through graphic design and on the civic imagination.
Prior to beginning my doctoral studies at Annenberg, I worked as a research analyst in the social science department of EurekaFacts, LLC, a DC-area market research firm. There, my work focused primarily in the area of health communication. Among my many projects, I led and managed a team of researchers on a multi-million dollar government contract. I also served as project manager on two contracts for a national business association.
I hold an honors BA in political communication from the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where I also studied music and German language & literature. Before moving to DC, I lived in Russia, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
I maintain a relatively consistent level of activity across several social media, so make sure to friend or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also follow my research on ResearchGate, ORCID, and Google Scholar.