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Textbook Affordability Student Ambassadors

Information about this exciting program for UAA students.

Program Updates

  • We are proud to announce our first two cohorts of Textbook Affordability Ambassadors!
  • For those who have been notified of their acceptance into the program, the schedule as been announced! Look for the email or reach out to D'Arcy Hutchings.
  • There is a chance that we will reopen applications towards the end of the Fall 2021 semester for a January/early February cohort. Check back here if you are interested in applying, or contact D'Arcy Hutchings to be notified if and when the opportunity becomes available!

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 hour training focusing on advocacy, leadership, communication, and textbook affordability. 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 training possibly done asynchronously.
  • Stage 2: Interested students who complete Stage 1 may choose 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 a peer mentor and program leaders, and may choose to 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. Travel expenses will be paid.

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. After identifying a cohort of at least 20 students, program leaders will use participant availability/schedules to determine a training schedule that works for as many of them as possible. Training will occur in October with a possible second cohort occurring in November. A third cohort may be scheduled for January/February.

Stage 2: Fall 2021 and 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 early Spring 2022. Work may continue on the projects through Spring semester if needed.

Stage 3: Mid-Spring 2022. Ambassadors participating in Stage 3 will travel to Juneau mid-way through the Spring semester, possibly during Spring Break. Travel expenses will be paid.

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.

This program is 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

We are proud to announce our first two cohorts of the Student Textbook Affordability Ambassador training program!


Aidalis Victoriano
Bella Acuña
Benjamin Kanohokula
Breanna Abyo
Chuol Both Mut Machar
Erica Dye
Evelyn Jane Robbins
Jessica Turner
Melissa Valencia Velis
Patricia Franco
Peter Hinds
Stephanie Leffel


Alice Dushkin
Dakota Gamache
Danelle Shellikoff
David A Schull
Emily Cohen
Emily Roxanne Bordelon
Gala Mackie
Geneva Luteria
Jeffry Crews
Kahayla Green
Malia Simpson
Matthew Mahoric
Paige Tvenge

Contact Me

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