Skip to main content

Research & Information Associates (RIAs)

What's a RIA?

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

Swarthmore's RIAs can help you:

  • Get started with research projects
  • Clarify topics, find sources, cite sources, and use library resources effectively
  • Connect to research librarians, SAMs, Writing Associates, and other resources for further consultation

How can I find a RIA?

How can I become a RIA?

  • The next time you can apply will be in Spring 2021 for the Fall 2021 academic year. Please check back then!

Questions about RIAs?

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

 

Research & Information Associates 2020

Vitor De Aguiar Dos Anjos

Contact

Class of 2021

Hometown: Newark, NJ

Biology Major with Minors in Computer Science and Latin American and Latino Studies

Pronouns: he/him 

My favorite part of being a RIA is helping students learn to navigate the research process. I remember how helpful the resources Swarthmore offers were to me my freshman year. Ideally, I hope to show students how fun and interesting research can be and help them see that they have all the skills they need to successfully complete any research project. I am also a catalyst for Bio001 and have done research every summer while I have been at Swarthmore. Feel free to stop by and talk to me about anything, be it research for a class project, long term research projects, or just something cool in biology or your field of interest. 

picture

Julia Botkin

Contact

Class of 2021

Hometown: San Jose, California 

Honors Political Science Major and Spanish Minor 

Pronouns: she/her

 

As a RIA, I look forward to helping students navigate resources in the library like subject specific guides on Tripod.  I hope to help students feel more confident in their research abilities and build skills they can use for future research projects. Outside of being a RIA, I am a tour guide (so I get to tell prospective students about library resources too) and am a member of the Peaslee Debate Society, Swarthmore's parliamentary debate team (some Peaslee archives are in the library collections!) 

Natalie Balbuena

Research and Information Associate

Contact

Class of 2021

Hometown: Woodbridge, VA

Engineering Major & Latin American and Latino Studies Minor

She/Her

One of the great things about being a RIA has been learning about all the resources offered at Swarthmore and then getting to share it (they are the SwatHacks that every student needs for their research assignments). I believe that no research assignment is too daunting or too complex (even the ones that mix science and liberal arts) and that no set of topics are unsuitable for each other. Let 'em mix and mingle! Aside from my work as a RIA, I help out around the Office of Sustainability and do many DIY projects. Feel free to reach out to me for help on that research paper, engineering advice, avatar, or any other random thoughts!

Ayleah Johnson

Contact

Class of 2022 

Major: Economics and Global Studies

Hometown: Fayetteville, NC

She/Her

My favorite part about being a RIA is how much organization you can bring to someone who's overwhelmed. At Swat, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of tasks to get done and all of the great ideas people come up with. It can be hard to come up with a plan to get everything done. As a RIA, I get to share all the amazing resources the libraries have and connect students with ways to efficiently get their work done. 

Sonia Linares

Contact

Class of 2022
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA 
she/her, History and Peace and Conflict Studies Major 

 

As a RIA, my goal is to make the research process easier and more engaging for students. Ideally, I hope to be able to introduce students to resources they might not have known existed. I also hope to make students feel like research can be fun and not as daunting as it initially seems. More than anything, however, I want to be able to help continue to foster a welcoming environment for students so that everyone feels comfortable asking for help. Outside of working at the RIA desk I also work as a Career Peer Advisor and serve on the Editorial Board for Voices!

 

Helen Tumolo

Research and Information Associate

Contact

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Staten Island, New York

Class of 2022

History major with a minor in Educational Studies 

I started college with no research knowledge or experience. I remember how terrified I was the first time I was assigned a research paper. Overwhelmed and feeling like a failed scholar, I reached out to my mentor who recommended that I meet with a RIA. After just an hour with the RIA, I walked out with all the sources I needed, a fleshed out thesis statement, and a new faith in my capabilities. As a RIA, I hope to transform the research process from a painful experience into one that is affirming and stimulating, just as the RIA I met with had done for me. Overall, my goal is to make the vast resources of the college accessible and useful for students.

Cheaka Wilson

Research and Information Associate

Contact

Class of 2022

Hometown: Newark, NJ

English Literature Major with a Minor in Chemistry

Pronouns: she/her

As a RIA, I hope to connect students to resources that they did not know existed or were having trouble navigating.  Whether it's for a course, extracurricular activity, or personal intrigue, my responsibility is to help guide any student through their research process.  I hope that I can show students how easy and rewarding it can be to conduct research. Besides working as a RIA, I am a also a WA who can further assist with the writing process for research projects or other writing assignments. 

Destiny Samuel

Research and Information Associate

Contact

Class of 2022

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Black Studies Special Major

Pronouns: she/her

Fleshing out your ideas and finding resources can be overwhelming if you’re in the beginning stages, if you feel like you have multiple paths to potentially explore, or if you’re at any point really. As a RIA, I’d like to provide folks with the support to build and develop their academic or personal research endeavors by discussing their thoughts and sharing relevant information. I’m also a Writing Associate in the Writing Center, another useful space that I could help out with brainstorming ideas for any project or piece of writing. 

 

Angeline Etienne

Research and Information Associate

Contact

Class of 2022

Hometown: Miami, FL

Black Studies Honors Special Major and French Minor

Pronouns: They/Them

For many Swarthmore students, studying here is the first time we've had so many resources within an arm's reach. It can be terrifying to make use of the matrix of information and research materials we have access to. RIAs help make that process of tapping into these materials much less daunting. I hope to help students in the preliminary process of research and writing to help guide them in the right direction, saving time as well as reducing how stressful the process can be.  I'm also a huge advocate for using our library resources for leisure materials. Ask me about zines, comics, movies, and the like! I also work as a Research Intern at the Black Cultural Center, and work with other students in STAR, Students for Transformative Justice, Abolition, and Reform.