Professor Rideout and daughter, Kamela Gissendanner photo credit E. Rideout
UVI Voice 2.0 invites our readers to meet Ed Rideout Jr, a man who is passionate about any and everything related to the field of communications. Professor Rideout is currently a professor teaching communications at the University of the Virgin Islands. Before becoming a professor, Rideout obtained two degrees; an undergraduate degree in speech communication from Penn State University and a graduate degree in journalism and communications from Point Park University.
After graduation he interned at the Tribune Democrat newspaper in Johnstown and the Pittsburg Community Television station (PCTV) in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. PCTV operates Public, Educational, and Governmental Access Television (“PEG Access”) and is available to cable TV viewers on three channels in the Time Warner Cable service area. PCTV also and serves people who live or work in the City of Pittsfield. These two internships strengthened his work experience because of the plethora of things he was assigned to do. For instance, he wrote news articles for the newspaper, directed and produced television shows, wrote scripts, operated the camera, and worked on the audio board.
When asked what peaked his interest in the communications field he said: “there was a series of tests that I took that all said I had great communication skills and that I should try and a get a career in that area.” From that day up until today, Rideout has been passionate in his teaching career, his faith, family, and helping others.
Before becoming a visiting assistant professor at UVI, Rideout was a public relations consultant for television and radio stations. Prior to that, he was a restaurant manager, and he even owned his own real estate company in Pittsburgh. No task appeared to be too hard for Ed Rideout; he tackled anything he thought he would succeed in.
Due to the horrific hurricanes that ripped through the Virgin Islands last year, Professor Rideout like many others, left the Virgin Islands and relocated on the mainland. He described his experience with the hurricanes as "a life and death circumstance." Rideout found the aftermath of the storms to be as unsettling as the hurricanes themselves. "There was no running water or electricity and I had only been here a month so I didn't know anyone...so living conditions were very difficult," he says. Professor Rideout was one of the many people that left on the mercy ships heading to Miami. Once he got to Miami, he caught a plane back to his home town in Pittsburgh.
Although, Rideout left the territory he didn’t give up on teaching his students which is something he is very passionate about. While in Pittsburg he taught online classes for UVI. Professor Rideout loves the UVI community especially the students. He loves the Caribbean people and their culture although he initially found it difficult to understand the dialect of the people.
Additionally, he enjoys teaching students at UVI because of their 'hunger for knowledge.' Professor Rideout offered words of advice to "Over 25% of the students who attend the University of the Virgin Islands [and] don’t graduate, (which is really bad). " He suggested that , "Students should come early to class, work hard, and do everything you can to graduate. You might then leave the islands for a bit for better exposure. Because of your credentials [undergraduate degree] you need to be paid for your worth; then in time, return to the islands.”