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Research & Information Associates

Photograph of students in front of purple tree. Text superimposed over image reads "RIAs."

What's a RIA?

Research and Information Associates — RIAs — are students who assist peers with finding and evaluating information.

Swarthmore's RIAs are able to:

  • Work with students throughout the research process across disciplines.
  • Provide feedback and strategies designed to help students with questions about topic formation, discovery and exploration of relevant literature, contextualizing source material, and citing materials properly.
  • Engage with student researchers about fostering ethical scholarly practices within the framework of their project.
  • Appropriately refer fellow students to reference librarians, SAMs, Writing Associates, and other resources for further consultation.

How can I find a RIA?

Starting the 2nd week of classes, RIAs have regularly scheduled office hours at the Research & Information Desk in McCabe Library.

  • Sunday, 2-5pm and 7-10pm
  • Monday, 6pm-midnight
  • Tuesday, 4-10pm
  • Wednesday, 5-10pm
  • Thursday, 5-7pm
  • Friday, 2-6pm

Any student may schedule an appointment with a RIA via email ( or by dropping in during office hours (check to see who's on the desk).

How can I become a RIA?



Applications are closed for 2019, but check back in Spring 2020 for our next round.

Questions?  Contact Lorin Jackson (ljackso1) or Sarah Elichko (selichk1).

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Research & Information Associates

Judy Al


Research and Information Associate

Class of 2019

Major in Mathematics & Political Science

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Theresa Ng'andu


Class of 2019

Honors Major in Economics and Honors Minor in French

Hometown: Solwezi, Zambia

Ashley Lê


Class of 2019

Majors: Sociology & Anthropology and French & Francophone Studies

Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ

Alexander Jin


Class of 2019

History Honors Major, Philosophy Honors Minor and Peace and Conflict Studies Course Major.

Hometown: San Jose, CA / Beijing, China

Naja Smith


Class of 2020

Sociology/Anthropology Major, Psychology Minor

Hometown: Gretna, LA(10 minutes away from New Orleans)