News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brianna Williamson, Recruiter/Alumni & Development Specialist
Phone: 608.822.2483
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: November 24, 2021

Alumni Spotlight: Lydia Sigwarth

Fennimore -

Fortunately for Lydia Sigwarth, choosing a career was not the greatest challenge she faced when deciding to pursue an education beyond her high school diploma. She’d always dreamt of being a librarian and knew there were various paths she could take to achieve that goal, but she wanted to find the most affordable track, knowing she’d have to pay for her own education. Sigwarth decided she would start somewhere small, affordable and close to home, which allowed her to continue to work at the Platteville Public Library. Sigwarth decided that Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s Early Childhood Education program would be the perfect educational foundation for her future career as a children’s librarian. When asked what she enjoyed about Southwest Tech’s Early Childhood Education program Sigwarth noted, “I liked how practical the program was, and that we were getting hands-on experience on day one of the program. Some people might discover that they like caring for their own children or young relatives, but not other people’s kids, and the program helps you discover right away whether or not it’s a good fit for you.” Sigwarth continued, “had I attended a four-year institution, I would’ve had to wait two or three years before I would’ve received that hands-on experience in the classroom.” She also appreciated the flexibility of the Early Childhood Education program at Southwest Tech.

Lydia Sigwarth

Sigwarth had taken two gap years to save money for college before enrolling at Southwest Tech, and had a job she was very much dedicated to at the Platteville Public Library. Sigwarth was able to maintain her commitment to her job while also successfully completing her classes. In addition to the hands-on experience and flexibility of the program, Sigwarth appreciated that Southwest Tech’s instructors also work in the field and were able to help students navigate real-life situations in class. In addition to instructors being able to share their own experiences, students received real-life experience through their practicum, which takes place at the Southwest Tech Child Care Center.

Sigwarth graduated from Southwest Tech in 2014 and continued her education by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature at UW-Platteville. Since she was 14 years old, she has worked in a library, and after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, she went on to work her dream job as a children’s librarian at the Platteville Public Library. Sigwarth often works with teenagers in her library who are unsure of what they want to do with their futures. She takes every opportunity to share how much she enjoyed her experience at Southwest Tech and the various options available for students to start at Southwest Tech and transfer on to continue their education.

In addition to her work as a librarian, Sigwarth recently added another title to her name: author. It started in 2019, when she was featured on This American Life’s podcast episode titled,  “The Room of Requirement,” where she revisited her childhood library in hopes of reconnecting with the librarian who significantly impacted her life. As a result of that podcast episode, she was able to connect with an editor at Macmillan Publishing, who encouraged her to turn her personal story into a children’s book. ‘Dear Librarian‘ was released in June 2021 and she has since been busy promoting her book.

| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |



Posted in Alumni, Early Childhood Education