Since the early age of ten, Lydia Luebke knew the answer to the question – “What are you going to do when you grow up?” Raised on a small family owned 150-cow dairy farm in Kiel, “sparked my love of cows” and Lydia has always enjoyed working with animals, especially Holstein dairy cows. A student at UW-Sheboygan and the focus of the March Student Spotlight, Lydia plans to major in Animal Science, with a career goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian.
A 2017 (summa cum laude) graduate of Kiel High School, she chose UW-Sheboygan “not only because of its affordability, but, also because of the great science department.” She explained that, “as a freshman at a four-year college, most students have a lab of 100 students and are taught by a teacher’s assistant. At Sheboygan, I have a professor and a small lab class that offers a personalized learning experience. I also chose UW-Sheboygan because my mother and her three sisters all started at UW-Sheboygan before transferring into STEM Majors.”
What surprised you most about the UW-Sheboygan campus? What surprised me the most about campus are the amazing places to study. There are several nooks and crannies that offer peace and quiet when you need to study or work on homework. My favorite place to study is in the engineering wing - due to the big beautiful windows that let in a lot of sunlight.
Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time? Before school, I work at home on the farm. I am the Calf Operations Manager, which entails feeding milk, crumbles, silage, cleaning and sanitation, and general health of the calves, ages 0-14 months. I also help with anything else that needs to be finished before I leave for school.
On campus, I also work two jobs. My first job is with the UW-Sheboygan Foundation. As a scholarship recipient, I was required to serve 10 volunteer hours. This in turn led to the job I have today – serving as the Executive Director’s Assistant. At the Foundation, I design materials, assist in planning events, perform data entry and organize and update office materials. My other job is in the UW-Sheboygan Acuity Technology Center, where I serve as a Librarian. As a Librarian, I shelve books, assist community members and close the library during the evening shift. My aunt was the first library intern to work in the Acuity Technology center and I am keeping the tradition alive today.
Outside of college, I am an active member of the Kiel FFA Alumni. As a former high school FFA member, I have learned the importance of agriculture in my community and hope to continue educating the public about agriculture’s place in society. With this organization, I assist with organizing high school events and public service acts, such as Adopt-a-Highway.
Favorite professor or staff member? My favorite professor is Dr. James Kabhrel (Chemistry). Favorite class is Chemistry and any Science class. My favorite staff members are Jeff, Jane and Karen (The Library Staff), Kelsey in Student Affairs, and Allyson in the Foundation Office.
Plans after UW‐Sheboygan? I plan to attend UW-River Falls to earn my bachelor’s degree, before attending UW-Madison to earn my doctorate degree in Large Animal Veterinary Medicine. I would also like to travel to Europe specifically Germany, Switzerland or Austria for vet school clinicals. My goal is to then come back to this area and work for a local practice. Because most of my family lives in this area, it is important for me to be near them.
Advice for incoming UW‐Sheboygan students? Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors. It is extremely important to develop a relationship with your professor if you need assistance in a class. Professors are more than willing to help you pass and often have their office doors open. Also, utilize the Student Success Center, here you will find tutors who will help you pass any subject.
Additional thoughts: Accomplishment in anyone’s life is learning to accept failure and move on. Most of life is remembered in failures rather than accomplishments. However, these failures shape the person you are today and you learn from your mistakes. I believe my biggest accomplishment in life happened this year. At the dairy farm, we had the lowest record of calf fatality in the history of our dairy farm. Losing only 0.004% of all calves born, means a lot to me because it means I am constantly improving the calf health program at the dairy farm and next I will shoot for a 0.00% percent loss.
UW-Sheboygan is located at One University Drive in Sheboygan. Freshman and sophomore level college courses in over 250 majors are available. As part of the University of Wisconsin System, credits transfer easily and tuition is affordable. For more information, visit sheboygan.uwc.edu or phone 920-459-6600.