Lear Matthews is Professor, Department of Community and Human Services, State University of New York, Empire State College. A former lecturer at the University of Guyana, Faculty of Social Science, he is a certified clinical social worker, and member of the Advisory Boards of the Caribbean-American Social Workers Association and CUNY Medgar Evers Social Work Program. He served as Clinic Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Community Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, NY for over ten years, where he provided services to immigrant families. He has worked with organizations such as the Guyana Cultural Association of New York and the East Indian Diaspora.
Dr. Matthews is a Guyanese by birth, has written extensively on the adaptation of immigrants in North America, cultural retentions and cross-cultural learning. His published research on coping with the psychosocial impact of natural disasters; mental health and crime in the Caribbean; adjustment of Caribbean immigrants; and the impact of occupational change, is included in college curricula across the US and the Caribbean and used in the training of human services practitioners working with immigrants.
His most recently published book, English-Speaking Caribbean Immigrants: Transnational Identities, examines how Caribbean immigrants adapt to life in the United States, while maintaining transnational connections in the home country. He has authored over 50 additional scholarly publications as book chapters and in journals including: Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity; Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Services; and Caribbean Journal of Social Work.
He applies his academic expertise to advocate for the rights of immigrants and is noted for his ability to link scholarship and community service. His work across communities extends to Cape Town South Africa, where he facilitated collaborative e-learning between students at Empire State College and the University of Western Cape. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2009 – 2010 Distinguished Caribbean Social Work Educators Award and the prestigious SUNY Jane Altes Prize for exemplary community service. He is past president of the New York Tutorial Support Group. As a member of the Guyana Cultural Association Media Team and Diaspora Times International, Dr. Matthews is a contributing writer and has served as guest editor of those organizations’ On-Line Magazines.