Affinity Networks

Affinity Networks bring together individuals with shared interests and expertise to explore new ideas that impact how we work and teach. These groups create a supportive environment to advance new research methodologies, teaching excellence, community engagement, or professional development across our college.

All CHS staff and faculty are encouraged to join or establish Affinity Networks. The ability of CHS to achieve and maintain excellence in teaching, research and community service depends on our work together, and participation in teams and networks is one valuable way to accomplish those goals.

Affinity Networks can be small or large, with some limited funding resources commensurate with proposed scope (faculty salary support is NOT provided).

Get Involved

  1. Groups may apply to become an official Affinity Network through the biannual application cycle. Connect with Al Haddad or Deborah Williams to discuss any questions about the application process. Additional application information can be found below, including submission deadlines, templates and guiding resources.
  2. Become part of an existing affinity network. Below is a list of our current affinity networks; we invite you to explore their mission and scope statements to see which one you might want to work with, and then reach out to the leads listed below to see how you can get involved.

Learn More about Translational Teams and Affinity Networks


  • The Training Affinity Network is available for all your student, faculty, and staff training related needs.

  • The Research Participants Registry and Database Affinity Network provide access to the research participants registry. This is an internal site for researchers who want to post their projects to the registry.

  • Collaborative Clusters, or groups of networks with shared interests, meet each semester to foster linkages, share resources, and generate new ideas. To learn more and find out how to participate, email Al Haddad or Deborah Williams.

Approved Affinity Networks

The following are the currently approved Affinity Networks:

The Affinity Network on Athletics will increase communication and develop a collaborative relationship among ASU Athletics, the College of Health Solutions and local community organizations involved in the improvement of athletic performance.

Through this collaborative relationship, the network will help students get more exposure to the opportunities available through the ASU Athletics department, the College of Health Solutions, the Global Sports Alliance and community partners related to the larger sports performance field and prepare them to make competitive applications for grants as well as  take advantage of available resources in the sports performance field and the Global Sports Alliance.

Opportunities for collaboration will be created with entities both inside and outside the classroom.  The creation of classes on optimal health and collaborative classes on cultural and social determinants of sports participation and success will help expand the range of topics on which CHS provides expertise.  Increased collaborations with external partners will advance the College of Health Solutions’ ability to cover the entire spectrum of health, from clinical treatment to optimal performance, and advance the reputations both of CHS and ASU nationally. Class-based projects will allow students to apply the knowledge they are gaining in the classroom and make it more readily available, helping them achieve mastery both of skills and knowledge.

A major goal for the Athletics Affinity Network is to host a sports performance clinic in collaboration with external partners, both to increase student knowledge and to expand the reach of CHS programs in the larger Arizona and Southwest regions. 

Network Lead: Joe Marsit

This network supports Translational Teams through expertise in informatics design, methods, and analysis of biomedical data and biomedical diagnostics. The network also advances biomedical informatics and diagnostic methodology. It aims to conduct original research on BMI methodology and its application to various health-related problems, and highlights aspects of this research through annual methodology challenge events. Current projects include a partnership with Veterans Affairs in relation to its VINCI datasource, analyzing veterans with multiple chronic conditions.

Network Leads: Matthew Scotch, Dongwen Wang

The Dissemination and Implementation Network is open to any ASU clinical or research faculty, staff, post-doctoral scholar or student. The D&I network will develop and implement D&I projects, advance D&I methods through new applications and strategies and build D&I principles into the educational foundation of CHS. Members will:

  • Generate and operate a core set of projects that are interdisciplinary and involve community partners.
  • Provide a network of support for researchers across disciplines with projects that have elements of D&I outcomes.
  • Speed the impact that CHS can have on health outcomes through advancing evidence-based interventions for population health impact.

The network’s most immediate task is to build capacity to conduct D&I research through training of a core of faculty, staff, post-doctoral scholars and students. This will lead to increased success in obtaining funding to conduct D&I research with community partners, attract student participation, and allow CHS to implement a nationally derived curriculum tailored to ASU and community partner needs.

Network Leads: Cady Berkel, Matt Buman, Dana Epstein

The Affinity Network on Experiential Learning (ELAN) is proposed as a professional learning community for CHS faculty interested in promoting and engaging in teaching through experience. We will share best practice for experiential learning (EL), which includes applied and service learning. This information-sharing will occur through formal and informal channels, including meetings, emails, and Slack. We will create a compendium, or database, of best practices from our internal research-sharing that we will then share with CHS as a whole; this dissemination will occur through presentations given at academic area meetings, workshops, and ultimately a conference. We intend to publish research relating to EL as well as our work in creating a faculty-led, scholarly, professional learning community to support EL in an innovative academic environment.

Network Lead: Jordan Miller

Moving the needle forward in addressing health inequity requires population-level changes that integrate innovative transdisciplinary approaches, operationalized by policies at the organizational, local, state and federal levels. In order to truly improve population health, it is necessary that these policies are informed, not only by various health researchers, but also by community-based experts, community members and the health delivery organizations providing care to these communities. The Health Policy and Equity Network (HPEN) seeks to bridge silos among these stakeholders to reduce health disparities and effectively translate evidence into policy by engaging with and gaining “buy-in” from community members and their policymakers. The Affinity Network will achieve this goal through two main functions:

  • Translational policy projects.
  • A consultation and partnership-building arm connected to CHS faculty, particularly those leading Translational Teams.

HPEN will serve as a premier resource for local and national health policies impacting the health care and outcomes of vulnerable populations. HPEN’s goals: 

  1. Education: Develop the future health workforce by engaging students in equity-focused work inside and outside of traditional classroom settings through courses, case studies and experiential learning opportunities.
  2. Research: Provide high-quality, evidence-based academic research conducted by a team of interdisciplinary faculty from across the university, dedicated network staff, student researchers, policymakers, community partners and health care delivery systems. This research is intended to inform responsive federal, state, local and organizational policies that reduce health disparities and improve equity in communities of interest. 
  3. Knowledge Hub: Operate as a hub of faculty and student experts in equity-driven health policy that can serve as a consultational arm to help delineate the role of policy in existing CHS research projects and future Translational Teams.

Network Leads: Swapna Reddy, Jessica Lehmann, Maureen McCoy

Interprofessional Education, Research and Collaborative Practice is an important aspect in health professions’ education, training, practice and research. Aspects of interprofessional teamwork have been shown to positively impact every aspect of the Quadruple Aim. The Interprofessional Education, Research and Collaborative Practice Affinity Network provides a hub for interprofessional education, collaborative practice and research in order to drive key initiatives across the college within academic programs, clinical practice and training, and clinical translational science. Further, this affinity network supports interprofessional programs that augment and connect our disciplines within the college, across ASU, and in our touchpoints with the healthcare community.

Network Leads: Kristen Will, Nancy Scherer

The overarching goal of the CHS Research Coordination and Management Affinity Network is to be a resource for current and future Research Coordinators and Managers to provide information, support, training, and a forum to communicate with the community of CHS Research Coordinators and Managers. This would include standardized tools for all to refer to for information and contact person. Research Coordinators and Managers are typically responsible for the day-to-day operations of research which may include, but are not limited to recruitment, consent, arrange parking, order lab supplies, data collection, and numerous other tasks. Although responsibilities are similar, the type of research performed in each lab differs, as well as the research participants. The responsibilities of this essential role are well-defined in each research protocol; however, the steps to carry out tasks may not be clear to newly hired research coordinators or functions that are performed infrequently. Furthermore, identifying the appropriate contact person to answer unique questions can be challenging.

Network Lead: Sabrina Maham

This network plans to design a research participant registry to collect and store both contact and limited demographic information from individuals who give consent to volunteer in research studies, as well as a database to collect and store health information in a searchable format. Both systems will comply with the requirements of HIPAA.

Network Leads: Aparna Rao, Shelley Gray

The Affinity Network on Simulation (SAN) is to build a community of practice in simulation and interprofessional education. The network will develop a database of training opportunities and current resources within CHS, connect faculty and students with appropriate learning opportunities, develop methods to expand expertise and create avenues to disseminate information. The network will work to measure the effectiveness of the various resources available and develop a method to sustain a database of valid resources. Goals to expand the network to communities outside of CHS and ASU will be addressed after the network has been established and has met its primary objectives.

Network Leads: Sandra Mayol-Kreiser, Kelly Ingram

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which individuals understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Learn more.

The purpose of the Social and Emotional Learning and Intelligence (SELI) Affinity Network (AN) is to build a compendium of resources and training modules that include practical teaching and learning strategies to transform the social and emotional wellbeing, learning, intelligence, and success of CHS students, faculty, and staff based on the five SEL competencies:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship skills
  5. Responsible decision making

The SELI Affinity Network has two foci:

  1. Supporting CHS faculty in delivering online and immersion curriculum and instruction that address the five competencies of SEL development to facilitate student success and academic achievement.
  2. Supporting CHS faculty and staff in developing their own SEL competence and capacity as a means for successfully leading students in SEL mastery and cultivating a CHS culture that enhances employee social and emotional health and wellbeing.

Network Leads: Shawn Hrncir, Cara Sidman

The Speech Language Affinity Network (SPLAN) at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions (CHS) will serve as a resource for students and early childhood professionals and in particular speech language pathologists. This includes but is not limited to on the ground, remote, and online modalities. SPLAN will share its expertise to promote three spokes of the CHS mission: Diverse student recruitment and retention, interprofessional clinical teaching (e.g, telepractice), and community engagement by way of an Extension of Community Health Outcomes (i. e., ECHO).

Network Leads: Jean Brown, Dawn Cosgrove-Greer

The Affinity Network on Training (TAN) works in collaboration with Translational Teams to develop, implement, and sustain a robust training infrastructure at CHS. This training infrastructure is designed to incorporate synchronous and asynchronous training components that support the work of translational research investigators and their teams, community stakeholder collaborations, and student engagement and development. Based upon targeted assessments of training needs, the AN is positioned to curate a range of existing training components (e.g., online learning modules, in-person workshops, website resources) that support those involved in specific grant-related projects such as: grant team members, grant project participants and community stakeholders, and CHS students. Some trainings cover content that is applicable across translational teams and varied projects while other trainings target specific projects’ training needs. In partnership with subject matter experts who provide specialized content, the Training Affinity Network is available for consultation to assist with developing training components that use evidence-based approaches (e.g., pedagogy, instructional design, and other technologies) and deliver that content to learners at varied levels of knowledge and skill.

The TAN Website serves as a central repository of training materials and resources related to translational research projects and initiatives. You can submit a request for existing materials, content, or trainings to be added to the site. Additionally, you can request TAN consultation to develop new trainings or support for designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the training components within your grant-related proposals and projects.

Network Lead: C.R. Macchi

Propose a new Affinity Network

Any faculty or staff member can submit a proposal to create a new Affinity Network.

Applications will be reviewed biannually (April, October). Proposals are reviewed and approved by a standing committee, initiative leadership, and the dean of CHS.


Spring application and budget requests deadline: April 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Fall application deadline (network approval only-no funding): Oct. 31 at 11:59 p.m.

Required Reporting

Affinity Networks complete an Annual Report each year to update the dean and provost on accomplishments and deliverables. Below is the template for this report.

Annual Reporting Template (MS Word)

Contact Information

Scott Leischow
Executive Director, Clinical and Community Translational Science

Deborah L. Williams
Associate Director, Clinical and Community Translational Science

Al Haddad
Project Coordinator, Clinical and Community Translational Science

Emery Young
Project Coordinator, Clinical and Community Translational Science

Page updated on Oct 11, 2021 3:41 pm MST