Dive into Research with Student Peer Research Consultants

Bridgewater unveils new SPRC program that helps students with research assignments


Hunter Aversa

SPRCs are located in the Learning and Research Services on the first floor of the Forrer Learning Commons. The first year of SPRC has been successful in assisting students with research assignments.

Hunter Aversa, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Student peer research consultants (SPRCs) are a campus resource that began the fall of 2022 semester, consisting of upperclassmen that assist Bridgewater students by providing aid on understanding the entire research process.

SPRCs help students develop research topics and questions, find and evaluate sources and help students cite sources in the needed citation style. They are able to assist using web-based technology to locate sources.

“A research consultation begins with a reference interview about the student’s research project including what it is about, what types of resources they need, what class it is for and what the student has already found,” said Beth Gaver, a senior and SPRC. “We then demonstrate various search techniques and help the students find a few sources to work with. Whether it be primary sources or secondary sources, we are equipped to guide students through this arduous process. We also help students with citation styles, including APA, MLA and Chicago.”

For many students this research process can be intimidating, overwhelming or difficult, so SPRCs provide assistance to make it easier.

“I would use SPRC in the future because students should use available resources,” said sophomore Annebelle Terry. “Starting a research project is the hardest part, and SPRC make that process less stressful.”

The current SPRCs are Gaver, Mackenzie Hammack and Katelin Carter, with Taylor Baugher organizing this resource. Students are encouraged to apply for this position to provide research assistance and work assisting with various tasks around the FLC.

“The SPRCs are a new resource on campus, so it is not broadly known yet,” said Gaver. “However, many students have utilized this resource and have scheduled appointments and dropped in for research consultations. Of course, it could be utilized more than it is, but we have been quite successful despite being so new.”

To schedule appointments, students can choose which SPRC that they want to meet with and schedule their appointment for a time and date to meet and make their way to the Learning and Research Services Suite.

“Students can schedule appointments with SPRCs through LibCal,” said Gaver. “Students can also drop into the Learning and Research Services Suite for a research consultation if a SPRC is available.”

The Learning and Research Services are looking for upperclassmen to become SPRCs. For those that enjoy research and would like to help other students, reach out to Baugher at [email protected].

“I think that with the knowledge I have of SPRC now I would definitely use them for future research assignments,” said sophomore Elizabeth Melton.