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Research & Information Associates (RIAs)

What's a RIA?

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

  • Help students get started with research projects
  • Work with students to clarify topics, find sources, cite sources, and use library resources effectively.
  • Connect students to reference 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

Jissel Becerra Reyes


Class of 2020

Hometown: Gainesville, GA

she/they, History and Religion Major


As both a student assistant at the Friends' Historical Library and a RIA, I am always excited to direct students to the world of digital archives and the many hidden resources that they contain (some of which are sadly often overlooked).  For that reason, I hope to introduce students to incredibly useful research tools such as the course research guides we provide, the interlibrary loan system, and the specialized collections available in the Friends' Historical Library and the Peace Collection. If you need further consultation on your research writing, I am also a Writing Associate, so feel free to contact me for both your research and your writing needs! 


Vitor De Aguiar Dos Anjos


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. 


Gabe Hearn-Desautels


Class of 2020

Hometown: Takoma Park, MD

Honors History Major and Honors Political Science Minor 

Pronouns: he/him

Maya Henry


Class of 2020

Hometown: Dayton, NJ

Education and History 


As a RIA and a Student Academic Mentor (SAM) for the Black Cultural Center I am particularly interested in making sure the resources and services of the library are accessible and helpful to students. I am particularly useful for talking about research pertaining to Black experiences, spirituality and education.  I also have experience applying for grants through the college so please stop by if that is the type of help you need. Many students congregate around the desk to talk about their experiences at the college and how they relate to the research they do for class or for their own personal interests.  As a RIA, I have learned research skills that have helped me find sources and databases that center Black lives and narratives that I would like to share with my peers. 

Ayleah Johnson


Class of 2022 

Economics Major 

Hometown: Fayetteville, NC

Sonia Linares


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 an Intercultural Center Intern and as a Career Peer Advisor. 


Naja Smith


Class of 2020

Sociology/Anthropology Major, Psychology and Biology Minor

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

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

I've been a RIA since my sophomore year and have loved every minute of it! What excites me most as RIA is learning about the plethora of resources the Libraries have to offer in addition to the fun and interesting library staff I get to interact with. The Libraries do such amazing programing to get Swatties engaged beyond using the Libraries as spaces to print and study and I'm glad I've been able to take part and create some of it. As a RIA, I hope to share my knowledge of the cool things the Libraries have to offer by introducing students to research guides,  databases and other Librarians and staff for specialized help .