LIFT, Academics | Earlham College
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Library Immersion Fellows Teams

Tyrique Richardson '21, New York City

Fletcher York '21, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Peace and Global Studies


First-year, first-generation students are invited to apply and join LIFT, complete the application form.

The LIFT Program matches small groups of first-generation students with a personal research librarian during seven weeks of fall semester. Every LIFT student is awarded an iPad to use for the four years at Earlham and beyond. Meeting for 90 minutes one session per week with their librarian, LIFT students undertake a one-credit tutorial in information literacy.

The tutorial occurs within the context of assigned weekly readings, research, and discussion based on current events, using media like The New York TimesNational Public RadioThe Earlham Word, and TED Talks. To gain additional perspectives on current events, students will utilize a toolkit of library resources including Credo, Academic Search Premier, LexisNexis Academic, JSTOR, and subject-specific databases (e.g. PsycINFO). The result is such that students will engage with trending issues, while acquiring research competencies, library experience, and personal connections with an Earlham administrative faculty member and a few of their classmates in a small-group setting.

In the Spring, the LIFT Program sponsors 3-4 evening resource panels/presentations on topics geared for first-generation students. Attendees meet first-generation alumni, first-generation faculty, and receive guidance about educational and career planning.  Students earn $150 through regular participation. 

“The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand."

– Association of American Colleges and Universities Information Literacy VALUE Rubric

Fully-Funded Off-Campus Immersive Term



Incoming LIFT students are eligible to apply for an all-expenses-paid Immersive Term at the end of their first year (pending developments and guidelines regarding COVID-19.) In the past, LIFT cohorts went to Montréal (2017), Hawai'i (2018) and Italy (2019). The 2020 Immersive Term was planned for Germany (postponed due to COVID-19.)

Testimonial from Montréal Immersive Term 2017

"Montréal, when I look back years from now, will always be the starting point into my 'fire.' ... I know I can go out and wander a city now, I know I can make new friends, even if we don’t click exactly. Montréal is the beginning of my path to change the world and hit the ground running, and I’ve done a surprising amount of running here, alongside those new friends."

Student Goals

In the first-semester course, LIFT students will:

  • Identify library resources and campus services to support their curricular and co-curricular lives.
  • Practice and engage with ideas of ethical behavior while finding, using and sharing information.
  • Read, evaluate and interpret media coverage of trending issues and current events, including those that affect first-generation college students.
  • Develop community through intentional dialogue with a group of peers from similar and diverse backgrounds.

The LIFT second-semester course and the all-expenses-paid Immersive Term goals expand on the first-semester course.


The LIFT Program works with first-generation students residing in the USA and assumed to be citizens based on demographic data supplied in the Earlham admissions process. Definitions of "first-generation" vary. Like many schools, Earlham has adopted the Federal Government Department of Education TRiO Program definition of first-generation to ascertain LIFT eligibility.

  1. An individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
  2. In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree.

International students are not eligible for LIFT at the moment; they instead work with an International Student Adviser and participate in support initiatives managed by the Center for Global Education.

Program Leaders

The LIFT Program Leaders are Bonita Washington-Lacey and Amy Bryant. Bonita is the Vice President for Student Life and Amy is the Interim Library Director.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.