Shad Comeaux Teaches Principles of Site Design at Texas Southern University
This summer, Shad Comeaux, Account Director, Pearland, had an opportunity to serve as an Adjunct Professor in Texas Southern University’s Urban Planning and Environmental Policy graduate degree program. Shad taught five students during a five-week course that consisted of lectures and field study. The student learning objectives were:
- Provide a basic understanding of data gathering, site observations, analysis, conceptual planning and design
- Bring critical thinking and analytical skills from other courses into the development of site recommendations
- Identify the various software and assessment tools available to analyze and design a site
- Recognize and address the ethical responsibilities of site design
- How to present and communicate a site design to stakeholders and the community
As a part of their final grade, students had to complete a site design project of an existing area. The student project was a site design for reimagining Cuney Homes, located directly across from Texas Southern’s campus. Cuney Homes, located in Houston’s historic Third Ward community, was the first development opened by Houston’s Housing Authority in 1943. The Houston Housing Authority received $450,000 to develop a resident and community-driven plan for meaningful neighborhood transformation centered around the redevelopment of Cuney Homes, Houston’s longest-standing public housing community.
Throughout the class, Shad would integrate project experience gained through various site design and small area planning projects at Freese and Nichols for a more practical learning experience to benefit students in their future careers. He invited Urban Planning and Design’s Gail Ferry-Katalenas, Planner V, Austin, as a guest lecturer who demonstrated tools and software used in professional site design assignments. Alexis Garcia, Planner IV, and Lauren Garrott, Planner III, both in Pearland, also volunteered to give feedback during the student’s final project presentation on August 11.
This is a great example of Freese and Nichols cultivating relationships with minority professional organizations and higher education institutions to help attract diverse talent and bring awareness to the various professional disciplines represented in the firm.