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Textbook Affordability Student Ambassadors (TASA)

Information about this exciting program for UAA students.

Program Updates

  • The program has concluded! We do not anticipate running the program again in the future due to lack of financial and human resources.
  • The work of the Ambassadors has been made sustainable thanks to their formation of UAA STAC (Student Textbook Affordability Club), which was one of the Stage 2 projects. Join now!
  • Interested in using our TASA curriculum for your own student program? Check out our full, openly-licensed curriculum!

Program Description

Are you interested in making textbooks more affordable at UAA? Are you interested in developing your advocacy and leadership skills? Curious what zero-cost textbooks and course materials have to do with student success and equity? Consider becoming a Student Textbook Affordability Ambassador!

In this program, you will learn valuable skills that will benefit you in your academic, professional, and personal life with the potential to make a difference in the education and lives of your fellow students.

The program consists of 3 stages. After completing each stage you may have the option to continue on to the next stage. You do not need to commit to later stages to participate in the Stage 1 training!

  • Stage 1: Complete an 8-12 hour training focusing on advocacy, leadership, communication, and textbook affordability. Actual time each student spends largely depends on their prior skills and knowledge. All students who complete this stage will receive a gift card of $250 (to a store of your choice). Training will be conducted online at scheduled times using Zoom, with some work done asynchronously before, between, and after the live sessions. (Preview Program Guide.)
  • Stage 2: Interested students who complete Stage 1 may have the opportunity to plan and execute a campus advocacy/outreach project. Examples might include reaching out to faculty, reaching out to students and/or student government, developing outreach materials, etc. The aim would be to promote textbook affordability at UAA in a public way. Ambassadors will be supported by program leaders and may work together on projects. Students who complete a project will receive either hourly compensation for their time OR a gift card incentive (amount and method to be determined).
  • Stage 3: Students who have completed the previous two steps may have the opportunity to visit Juneau to advocate for textbook  affordability with their elected officials in Spring 2022 (probably in early May). Travel expenses will be paid. Cancelled.

Who Can Participate

All current UAA students are eligible for the program!

Note that seats for each stage of the program may be limited. If we are unable to accept all students who express interest, we may prioritize students who express the most interest/enthusiasm, were most engaged at the previous stage, are most likely to benefit from the program, and/or are the most prepared to be successful at the next stage. Due to the focus of the grant that funds this program, preference may be given to Alaska Native students, followed by students from other minoritized groups.


Stage 1: Fall 2021 and early Spring 2022. Three cohorts of Ambassadors receive training (Stage 1).

Stage 2: Spring 2022. Following completion of Stage 1, Ambassadors continuing to Stage 2 may begin planning and working on their projects. To be considered for Stage 3, students need to have made substantial progress on their Stage 2 project by late March 2022. Work may continue on the projects through and just after Spring semester if needed.

Stage 3: Early May 2022. Ambassadors participating in Stage 3 will travel to Juneau. Travel expenses will be paid. Cancelled.

Program Leadership, Partners, and Funding

This program was developed by UAA Textbook Affordability co-chairs Dr. Veronica Howard (Associate Professor, Psychology) and D'Arcy Hutchings (Associate Professor, Library) in close collaboration with Zoe Dietz (student employee) and in partnership with Native Student Services. Jeffry Crews (student employee) played a leadership role in executing Stage 2 of the program.

This program was part of the Alaska Open Education Initiative and made possible thanks to grant funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, specifically their Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants Program.

Meet the Ambassadors

Students who completed Stage 1 training:


Benjamin Kanohokula
Chuol Both Mut Machar
Evelyn Robbins
Jessica Turner
Patricia Franco
Peter Hinds
Stephanie Leffel


Alice Dushkin
Bella Acuña
Danelle Shellikoff
Emily Cohen
Gala Mackie
Jeffry Crews
Malia Simpson
Matthew Mahoric


Beau Durland
Emilie Arvidson
Hannah Lynn Bissett
Jennifer Hillman
Kathleen DeMichele
Lilia Demko
Madi Simonton
Maria Sanchez
Mariah Seater
Nicole Kisor
Paige Tvenge
Steven Cherry

Stage 2 Participants:


Emily Cohen
Evelyn Robbins
Hannah Bissett
Jeffry Crews (Peer Mentor/Support)
Mariah Seater
Steven Cherry


Danelle Shellikoff
Malia Simpson

Contact Me

Profile Photo
D'Arcy Hutchings
Instructional Design Librarian,
Associate Professor