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New professor spotlight: Dr. Matthew Lebrato

photo credit: Lyon College

This year Lyon College has welcomed several new professors into our academic family. Dr. Matthew Lebrato, Mathew to many of his students, is now leading the Anthropology Department. Dr. Lebrato feels right at home at Lyon, due to his extensive background both attending and teaching at liberal arts schools as well as his own interdisciplinary studies as he worked toward his undergraduate degree.

Dr. Lebrato, like many undergraduate students, did not begin his educational journey in the program in which he finished his education, beginning his undergraduate career studying music. During his master’s and doctoral programs, he focused more on his field of speciality, indigenous revitalization in Mexico. Lebrato says, “Anthropology allow[ed] [him] to investigate [his] interests, which revolved around intercultural education.”

Dr. Lebrato’s personal journey complements Lyon College’s efforts in recent years to foster community awareness for and celebration of diversity on campus. After years of working with Latin American immigrants, Dr. Lebrato was drawn to Latin American culture. That experience led him to teach English at a “rural” university in Oaxaca, Mexico, which inspired him to return to the States and earn his master’s and later his doctorate degree.

Dr. Lebrato noted his experience with Batesville’s southern hospitality. He said, “[people seem to [have] genuine interest.” He credits growing up in the rural area of Fort Wayne, Indiana to his acclimation, calling himself, “a native hoosier.”

Dr. Lebrato, like many in the Lyon College community, is taking full advantage of the pet friendly campus. Dr Lebrato and his wife rescued a puppy while in Indiana, who is now seven years old. Despite not knowing the precise breed of his dog--his best guess is either a Plott hound or a mountain cur--Dr. Lebrato is overjoyed to be able to bring him to campus. While Dr. Lebrato himself has not visited the dog park on campus, he, his wife, and their pet have explored the trails on campus and are all eager to try out the dog park soon.

Lastly, Dr. Lebrato is thinking of beginning an anthropology club and encourages all students with an interest in the field to try out one of his entry-level classes. If you see him around campus, be sure to welcome Dr. Lebrato and ask him for a latin music recommendation.