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UW Libraries Selects Alternative Textbook Grant Recipients

February 1, 2021

University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded alternative textbook grants to seven faculty members and a graduate student to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this spring.

The alternative textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $67,000 per semester.

“As the pandemic continues, it’s increasingly important to continue to keep costs low to our students and make materials more digitally accessible,” says Larry Schmidt, chair of Research and Instruction Services at UW Libraries. “What was interesting for this cycle of grant applications was how many applicants returned to continue their work for finalizing open-access projects or creating materials for other courses they teach. It speaks to our faculty’s dedication to saving our students money, but also creating materials that are openly accessible and available for other institutions to utilize in their teaching.”

Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new alternative textbooks or other materials for their courses. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $3,000.

The grant recipients are:

Academic Affairs

-- Janel Seeley, director of the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning. Seeley teaches “Teaching and Methodologies and Applications” and will be creating videos to replace the current text used for instruction.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

-- Karen Vaughan, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Vaughan teaches “Introduction to Soil Science” and is creating multimedia materials and notes that add to previous OER work she created that is currently available to students.

College of Arts and Sciences

-- Conxita Domenech, a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Domenech teaches “Introduction to Reading Spanish” and is adapting open-access short stories and videos in place of the current textbook.

-- Maria Kuznetsova, an associate lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Kuznetsova teaches “Developmental Psychology.” She is adapting an OER textbook and creating a question bank for the course based on the OER textbook.

-- Tiger Robison, an assistant professor in the Department of Music. Robison teaches “Aural Theory II” and is creating a textbook for this course that continues a project that was started last spring.

College of Education

-- John Raible, a graduate student from Orlando, Fla., in the School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy and Design. Raible teaches “Introduction to Instructional Design” and plans to adapt and adopt a variety of materials to support the course. He plans to involve the students in their coursework to create a living document that will be updated yearly.

College of Engineering and Applied Science

-- Kimberly Frith, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. Frith teaches “Statics.” She is creating problems and videos that illustrate engineering mechanics concepts that augment the work of another professor who has created an OER textbook and application.

-- Jefferson Snider, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Snider is creating an open-source textbook for engineering thermodynamics that will be used by instructors who teach “Thermodynamics.” A majority of the work will focus on creating text and graphics that go with the applications of engineering thermodynamic problems.

UW Libraries will award a round of grants for the 2021-22 academic year. Proposals for that award period are due March 19.

For more information, visit; or call Schmidt at (307) 766-2844 or email

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