Top 40 Under Forty: Hailey Babb
From a young age, Hailey Babb has demonstrated thoughtful, consistent leadership and strives to give back to her community in meaningful ways. She is highly service-oriented, knowing that her achievements will greatly impact on the lives of others.
She draws greatly upon personal experience to inform her advocacy and has a leadership style that empowers others to claim their space at decision making tables.
Hailey is deeply dedicated to breaking down systemic barriers for youth and women in both higher education as well as the political system. Hailey is a vocal advocate for Open Education, commonly defined as the philosophy that everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources.
On campus and abroad, Hailey has pushed for the adoption of Open Educational Resources (openly-licensed learning materials that are high-quality and free to use) as an alternative to expensive traditional textbooks. She is currently Open Education Coordinator at Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) North America. She was a contributing author to their comprehensive filing to the United States Department of Justice antitrust division to block the proposed merger between publishing giants Cengage and McGraw-Hill.
Hailey is a long-time resident of Lethbridge and graduate of Chinook High School. She later enrolled at the University of Lethbridge (UofL) from where she will soon hold her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Throughout this time, she was heavily involved in campus leadership, first serving two years as a Residence Assistant and earning the Residence Life Professional Award, presented annually to the top three leaders in the nearly 40 member cohort. She later went on to work as a new student mentor, and took her first step into the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) as a faculty representative and Vice-President Academic before being elected as student body President.
In this role, she served on the University’s Board of Governors, Senate, and lobbied as a member of two advocacy groups: the Council of Alberta University Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. Here, she advocated on behalf of over 300,000 students across the country at the Alberta Legislature and Parliament Hill.
Her advocacy was instrumental in the passing of the Government of Alberta’s Bill 19 in October 2018, widely regarded as the largest win for post-secondary students in over a decade with unanimous support across party lines.
During her tenure as Vice-President Academic with the ULSU, Hailey was the institutional lead for the inaugural #TextbookBrokeAB campaign, a provincial effort put forward by four of Alberta’s major institutions to promote Open Educational Resources and bring attention to the rising cost of educational materials to relevant policymakers.
As a direct result of this advocacy, Hailey has been invited to speak both nationally and internationally on the topic, most recently at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
Hailey has been a champion of her community from a young age. Now, Hailey uses her platform to elevate those around her and frequently volunteers her time to various youth organizations. She hopes to continue to raise Lethbridge’s profile provincially, nationally, and internationally wherever she goes.