Peer research mentors provide valuable services while gaining valuable experiences

Peer Research Mentors Amy Violante ’17 and Margaret Czepiel ’17 expand their research skills at a bi-weekly training meeting.

Peer Research Mentors Amy Violante ’17 and Margaret Czepiel ’17 expand their research skills at a bi-weekly training meeting.

By Musselman Library Staff

Perhaps you have noticed the Peer Research Mentors at the Research Help Desk in Musselman Library. They are the students working the desk who help you find sources for your research, help you locate books on the shelf (or figure out why they’re not on the shelf), provide you with guidance about citation formats and walk you through technical glitches on the computers.

Peer Research Mentors work closely with Musselman Library librarians and staff to learn a variety of research and technical skills that allow them to answer a variety of questions that they encounter at the Research Help Desk.

They are welcoming faces for students in need of research help.

Working as a Peer Research Mentor provides students with valuable experience applicable to both their time as a student at Gettysburg College as well as their time after graduation.

Current Peer Research Mentor Margaret Czepiel ’17 noted, “I have really valued my time being a Peer Research Mentor. From getting to learn about Special Collections, to doing outreach for international students and first year seminars to learning how to effectively run a meeting, it has been the kind of job that has given me skills I will use for the rest of my life.” she said.

“Being able to be friendly and most importantly helpful to my fellow students who might be struggling with a large scale research paper or project is a skill that has transferred over to my own research,” she said.

Miranda Bubenheim ’18, also a current Peer Research mentor, added, “I wanted to apply to be a PRM because it looked like a good experience to develop leadership skills,” she said.

“I am an education major and I thought I would have opportunities to practice teaching one-on-one. Since working as a PRM, I have also greatly developed my research skills. It has really helped me personally in classes when I am assigned research projects. My favorite part has been working with my professors as a research assistant for classes. It has helped to develop strong relationships with these professors and it means a lot that they now trust me to assist them,” she said.

Peer Research Mentors work six to eight hours per week while classes are in session (four hours at Research Help Desk, one hour bi-weekly training, and one to two hours of project work), in addition to about 15 hours of paid training during the last week of summer break.

Recalling her Peer Research Mentor training, Margaret Czepiel shared, “I remember my first real experience as a PRM was during ‘boot camp’ which we had before classes started.”

We explored library resources, learned about the vast amounts of materials that the library has to offer and how to navigate them. It was so much fun to get to know the librarians and my fellow PRMs through different games and getting to simulate situations on the desk,” she said.

Musselman Library is currently searching for three rising sophomores and juniors to join our Peer Research mentor program next fall.  Do you have:

  • A desire to learn, improve, and master research skills in more than one academic subject area
  • An interest or background in education, mentoring, and/or tutoring
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • An ability to work effectively with diverse groups of students, faculty, staff, and community members?

Consider filling out an application to join us. The pay rate is $8.50 per hour.

Applications will be accepted until Monday, March 20, 2017.

Apply on GettysburgWorks, Job ID 14260.  For more information about the program and a list of current PRMs, visit

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Author: Web Editor

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