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RIAs: Research & Information Associates

How can I get help from RIAs? | Research Tips | Become a RIA | Meet the RIAs

What's a RIA?

Research and Information Associates assist fellow students with finding and evaluating information. A RIA can help you get started with research projects, clarify your topic, and find and cite sources. They can connect you to research librarians, SAMs, Writing Associates, and other resources for further consultation. By working with a RIA, you'll learn how to use library resources effectively.

How can I get help from a RIA?

You can chat with RIAs and librarians on the Libraries website and in Tripod. Look for the chat button below. (See Help with Research for more information.)

What research tips do the RIAs have for fellow students?

 

RIAs created Libraries To-Go to help you stay connected to campus resources while learning remotely. Find out when to use the VPN, how to access books and articles, and what tools can reduce eyestrain while you're reading on screens.

How can I become a RIA?

We usually hire a few new RIAs each spring, to start work in the fall. Look for our posting in Job-X!

Program Coordinator

The RIAs program is coordinated by Sarah Elichko, Social Sciences & Data Librarian.

 

Research & Information Associates 2021-2022

Sonia Linares '22

Sonia Linares '22

Label: Research And Information Associate

Email: slinare1@swarthmore.edu
Major:History and Peace and Conflict Studies
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Pronouns: she/her/hers

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 '22

Helen Tumolo '22

Label: Research And Information Associate

Email: htumolo1@swarthmore.edu
Major: History with a minor in Educational Studies
Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Having come to college without research knowledge/experience, I was terrified the first time I was assigned a research paper. Overwhelmed, I reached out to my Richard Rubin mentor, who recommended that I meet with a RIA. After just an hour with the RIA, I completed my bibliography, fleshed out my thesis statement, and gained a newfound faith in my capacity as a scholar. As a RIA, I hope to continue the important work of transforming the research process from a painful experience into one that is affirming and stimulating, as well as making the vast resources of the college accessible and useful for students.

Cheaka Wilson '22

Cheaka Wilson '22

Label: Research And Information Associate

Email: cwilson3@swarthmore.edu
Major: English Literature Major with a Minor in Black Studies
Hometown: Newark, NJ
Pronouns: she/her/hers

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 also a McCabe Library Aide and WA who can further assist with the writing process for research projects or other writing assignments.

Destiny Samuel '22

Destiny Samuel '22

Email: dsamuel1@swarthmore.edu
Major: Black Studies Special Major, minor in Educational Studies
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
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 '22

Angeline Etienne '22

Email: aetienn1@swarthmore.edu
Major: Black Studies Honors Special Major and French Minor
Hometown: Miami, FL
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. 

Sokeyra Francisco '22

Sokeyra Francisco

Email: sfranci1@swarthmore.edu
Major: History and Peace and Conflict Studies double major
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Pronouns: she/her/hers

As a RIA, I am excited to work with students and help them produce projects they are proud of. Daunting is an apt word to describe the experience of writing a research paper in college. For many students, the process is unfamiliar and brings with it lots of anxiety and stress. In my role I hope to be a resource for students going through the process and help them in the way that they find most beneficial, including introducing them to the abundance of resources the library offers and skills to build throughout the research project.

Bereketab Abeje '23

Bereketab Abeje '23

Email: babeje1@swarthmore.edu  
Major: Honors Biology and Mathematics
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Pronouns: He/Him

As a RIA, I am looking forward to working with people and assisting in their research process as they take on exciting projects and paper topics for their classes. As someone who came to Swarthmore unaware of all the great resources that are offered by the libraries as well as the different academic offices on campus, as a RIA, I also hope to work with students and help in introducing them to all the resources they have available to them as Swarthmore students.

José Valdivia '23

José Valdivia '23

Email: jvaldiv1@swarthmore.edu
Major: Religion and Latin American Studies special major
Hometown: Sonoma, California
Pronouns: they/them/theirs or elle/ellx

I’m very excited for my first year as a RIA being able to suggest concrete research methodologies as well as the peer support needed to complete projects/class assignments. As an interdisciplinary student, my hope is to encourage others to think widely and critically about the sources they use— and most importantly, to think outside the box about any subject. I look forward to also learning from students’ research, especially those cases that are completely outside of my own area of study.