Mass Comm graduate found inspiration, new experiences at MSU Texas

A world of experience

Mass Comm graduate found inspiration, new experiences at MSU Texas

Gerrant Guiste’s journey to Midwestern State University was different than many of his fellow students. He came to the university from Dominica with many career accomplishments and interests already under his belt.

Guiste, 35, had enjoyed a nine-year career in the music business performing on cruises, was a licensed scuba diver, and had helped start a fishery project in his home country.

He found fulfillment during that time, but also a desire to spend more time with his wife, and together, they decided on furthering their education at MSU Texas. They graduated in May 2023, with Guiste earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication.

“My wife was an engineer back home, and she wanted to get qualified and certify herself,” Guiste said. “We both came here to close the distance (between them). I was no stranger to traveling, but it was hard in that I was always away. It was a team effort (for the couple) at MSU, but it wasn’t always the easiest.”

Guiste persevered through a change in majors, getting by on part-time work as an international student on campus, and working through an age difference with his fellow students. He is thankful to many who helped his educational journey at MSU Texas, which began in 2019.

 Gerrant Guiste

One of those who Guiste wanted to share credit with was Professor of Geosciences Andrew B Katumwehe. “He inspired my interest in geosciences,” Guiste said. “It really opened my eyes in that this area of study is very broad. It’s underutilized. He opened my eyes when it came to that career opportunity.”

Guiste plans to continue his education in that field as he pursues a master’s degree at MSU Texas.

When it was time to change majors and gain some advice, Guiste said Matthew Park, associate vice president, student affairs and dean of students, made a difference. “Whenever we did speak, it was about very serious issues,” Guiste said. “I thank him and thank God for him. I would have tough conversations with him, like, why do you charge students for services they’re not using (from my point of view), and he didn’t have to explain 

Gerrant Guiste

those things, but he did.”

Park’s advice helped Guiste save time in earning his bachelor’s degree. “I didn’t have to struggle with math, and he showed me that there was nothing unusual about pursuing a master’s in a different area. It cemented my decision, and now I can get back to science in a more focused way.”

Guiste did enjoy the chance to put his mass communication skills to work filming rodeo events in Texas and nearby states, and he also did video for UIL Texas State Basketball playoffs.

And in the Mass Communication department, Guiste said Associate Professor Bradley Wilson influenced his success. “He has an interesting personality. I felt like professor Bradley doesn’t teach you to pass exams, he teaches you to prepare you for life.”

Guiste respects the professionalism necessary in the Mass Communication field. “It’s very much underrated and underappreciated, I feel like,” he said. “Most people don’t know what happens until a mass communication student opens their mouth, writes a journal, or gets a camera out.”

He believes the Mass Comm department at MSU Texas gave him the opportunity to acquire all the necessary skills to work in that field.

Guiste said his first boss at the Clark Student Center was helpful in teaching him some basics about “how to do banking, get a credit card, how to get a car” and other important knowledge about living in America.

“I think for the most part my wife and I were blessed with the opportunity at MSU,” Guiste said. “We were married in 2016. We needed to close that gap (with more time together). Christmases here are really nice and my wife really likes Christmas. She noticed people light up their houses and even the school with the Fantasy of Lights. They told me it didn’t snow (in Texas), but it has snowed every year since so that was debunked. And Wichita Falls was the first place I saw hail.

“Being from the Caribbean it’s a little different culturally here. It’s about embracing experience, and I’ve been exposed to many different cultures. It has broadened my perspective.”