Who We Are

Shad & Associates is an organization of educators that engages students in life long personal iteration founded in user centric design embodying a strong social consciousness.

  • M.F.A., Design & Technology, Parsons the New School of design
  • M.S., Technical Communication, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • B.A., English Literature & English History, Skidmore College

Rees E. E. Shad

Rees Shad is a tenured Associate Professor of Media Design at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College - part of the City University of New York. An accomplished recording artist with over twenty international releases, Shad started his professional life as an entrepreneur in the record industry. For almost two decades he ran Sweetfish Recording Studios, which blossomed into a publishing company, record company and interactive media company before Shad recognized that his favorite part of the job was introducing interns to the creative process and to entrepreneurial engagement. He left the industry (although he continues to write and record music) in order to returned to the academy and has not looked back since.

Early on, while an adjunct at Parsons the New School for Design, he had the opportunity to collaboratively develop curricula for the school’s Freshman lab courses, and the experience taught him to love the development process as much as the implementation process. He created several other courses for the Design & Technology program before being drafted by Hostos to create a series of media programs. Shortly there after he joined the faculty and for five years he coordinated the programs before being becoming chair of the humanities department (a role he still plays). To date he has developed over fifty courses for the institution in topics as varied as media history, business, graphic design, audio engineering, and game design for social change. He has collaborated on the development of over a dozen others classes, and has recently been asked to develop similar programs and courses for institutions outside of CUNY.

Shad’s research has evolved over the last decade from means of engendering collaborative design among disparate parties, to the role of games in society, and more recently the development of games for STEM education with a target audience of subject phobic students. His work with colleague Catherine Lewis earned them a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Grant for the development of Game-Framed Math & Science pedagogy. This work, in conjunction with his collaboration on the book Einstein & the Honeybee: An Introduction to Game Design & Game Development inspired a cadre of students and colleagues to form Colmena Design, a game design company focusing of Games for a Difference. Shad sits on a number of boards, and is currently heading up a project at Hostos to build a Media Business Incubator in order to encourage a community lead ecology of technology and media in the borough.

His publications include: The Hive Cooperative: Collaborative Publishing for Student Engagement, Einstein & the Honeybee: An introduction to Game Design & Game Development, Design Collaboration as a Tool for Developing Diversity in the Work Place, & Collaboration in the Design Classroom.
He has made dozens of presentations at conferences around the country.

Shad was the 2012 Carnegie Foundation CASE New York Professor of the Year, and has been awarded a number of grants ranging from the NSF/ATE to New York State 20/20, to a number of CUNY-centric grants.

Rocio Rayo
Researcher & Curriculum Consultant

Rocio Rayo is the Director of Colmena Design, Inc. where she oversees the development of games for a difference. These games often augment curricula as a pedagogical tool for engagement. She is also an adjunct faculty member of Media and Humanities at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College - part of the City University of New York. Rayo’s research has for years focused on women’s roles in revolutions in Central America, but her interest in game design was piqued after being asked to help out in the development and writing of an affordable textbook for Hostos’ burgeoning game design program. Initially an editor, but soon a full on contributor for Einstein & The Honeybee, the project drew her attention to the use of games to highlight social issues and address academic learning outcomes. After writing the book she became even more interested in the boundaries that games can deconstruct and was fascinated by the power they had to create a space to talk about important social issues. She soon took on the role as Executive Director at Colmena Design, where she played a role in the development of many STEM learning games as part of an NSF grant at the college.

Her publications include: Einstein & the Honeybee: An introduction to Game Design & Game Development., “El Boom”, Escriba, Hostos Community College, 2011. She has presented at various conferences: Co-Presenter, AACC Conference, San Antonio, 2015; Co-Presenter, Different Games, New York University, 2015; Presenter, CUNY Games Conference, CUNY, January 2015; Co-Presenter, National Science Foundation/ATE, Washington DC, October 2014; Co-Presenter, Scholarship of Teaching and Engagement Conference VI, Utah Valley University, 2014; Panelist, Citizenship in Latin America , Columbia University, Graduate Student Conference, 2014; City College Fellowship Conference, City College of New York, 2013/2014.

Rayo was awarded the City College Fellowship, City College of New York, 2012-2014; Dean’s List, City College, Humanities Department 2013-2014; Kaye Scholar, City College of New York, 2012-2013; Westin Scholar, City College of New York, 2012-2013; boom, Best Ensemble, Kennedy Center America College Theatre Festival, 2011; Excellence Award in Women and Gender Studies, Hostos Community College, 2010; Circle of 100, Hostos Community College, 2010; Dean’s List, Hostos Community College, 2010; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Hostos Community College, 2010

Audrey Bennet
Curriculum Consultant

Audrey Bennett is a tenured Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who studies cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary communication that make use of images permeating global culture and impacting the way we think and behave. In her recent book, Engendering Interaction with Images, Bennett argues that engendering user interaction with images improves their communicative effectiveness by enabling them to convey meanings across cultures.

Bennett currently conducts fieldwork globally to investigate the use of interactive aesthetics to affect social change. Her interactive aesthetics research agenda includes two primary strands of inquiry. First, Bennett studies the use of IA in the prevention of new HIV infections in Kenya and Ghana (funded by the National Science Foundation). Second, she investigates the use of interactive aesthetics towards ethnically and intellectually diversifying STEAM education, particularly computer science, with indigenous art curricula (funded by the National Science Foundation and Google).

Her publications include: The Rise of Research in Graphic Design; Interactive Aesthetics; Good Design is Good Social Change: Envisioning an Age of Accountability in Communication Design Education; Towards an Autochthonic Black Aesthetic in Graphic Design Pedagogy; Follow the Golden Ratio from Africa to the Bauhaus for a Cross-Cultural Aesthetic for Images; Global Interaction in Design; A Wicked Solution to the Global Food Problem; and Connotative localization of an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention image to effect safer sex practices in Ghana.

Bennett is a 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar of the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a 1997 College Art Association Professional Development Fellow. In 2007 she secured a National Science Foundation Career Campaign Award and a competitive grant from the AIGA, the professional association for design to create GLIDE, a biennial virtual conference that disseminates communication design research findings on the role of images in global society.

Bennett is the co-editor of the Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011 and participates on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Communication Design. She also directs baohouse.org, a virtual design studio for user-centered research on global images.

Morry Galonoy
Researcher & Curriculum Consultant

Professor Morry Galonoy is a partner at Litchinut Studios, focusing on design strategy and user-centered design. Galonoy serves on the faculty at New York University as well as Parsons The New School for Design. He also serves on the Multimedia Program Advisory Board of Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY). Galonoy is also a founding director of Web Producers Organization, and speaks at and moderates panel discussions on design and technology around the world.

Andrew London
Curriculum Consultant

Professor London is a partner at London Squared Animation Studios, and serves on the faculty at Hostos Collunity College (CUNY). He oversees the DUM-D Animation festival and participates in several others every year. Here's a great documentary on Professor London

Jose M Martinez Polanco
Interactivity & Design Developer

Jose Martinez is currently enrolled in the AAS degree program for Graphic Design that we developed for Hostos Community College. His work so impressed his professors that he was suggested to us when we went looking for a new web site design. Everything you see here was created by Jose. He is also a video producer and graphic designer for Colmena Design.

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