Our innovative college model encourages individuals to connect between and across disciplines to collaborate and foster new ideas that advance an area of focus. To that end, we support Affinity Networks that bring together individuals with shared interests to explore a methodology or an opportunity for improvement within the college. Affinity Networks are designed to advance research methodologies, teaching excellence, community engagement or a functional area of the college.
Members of Affinity Networks create a supportive environment for professional development and a place to develop new ideas. From the networks, our college gains a growing supply of new ideas and knowledge, program improvements, methodologies and approaches that further our commitment to designing health solutions.
Affinity Networks and Translational Teams
Affinity Networks differ from Translational Teams, another unique initiative of the College of Health Solutions. Affinity Networks are groups of faculty and staff, practitioners, policy experts, advocates and others who have an interest in the topic and represent a pool of talent from which Translational Teams can draw. Translational Teams, which include community partners working alongside faculty, staff and students, focus on solving specific and complex health problems or challenges. Translational Teams and Affinity Networks may work together, but each group serves a separate and distinct purpose. For example, an Affinity Network on dissemination and implementation science could serve as a core methods group within a Translational Team.
Affinity Networks at the College of Health Solutions
The following Affinity Networks have been established, and others will be formed and developed in the coming years.
- Affinity Network on Athletics: Increases communication and develops a collaborative relationship among Sun Devil Athletics, the College of Health Solutions and local community organizations involved in the improvement of athletic performance.
- Affinity Network on Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Diagnostics and Data Science: 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.
- Affinity Network on Dissemination and Implementation (D&I): Develops and implements D&I projects, advances D&I methods through new applications and strategies and builds D&I principles into the education foundation of the College of Health Solutions.
- Affinity Network on Experiential Learning (ELAN): A professional learning community for college faculty interested in promoting and engaging in teaching through experience. ELAN shares best practice for experiential learning, which includes applied and service learning.
- Affinity Network on Geographic Information Sciences and Technologies (GIST): A hub for faculty and students interested in spatial methodologies. By considering contextual and geographic elements, GIST is building a larger community of practice around the use of geographic information science, global positioning systems, spatial techniques and methodologies (e.g. omnidirectional photography) and other contextual data to enhance research endeavors and community development.
- Affinity Network on Health Policy and Equity (HPEN): Serves as a premier resource for local and national health policies impacting the health care and outcomes of vulnerable populations.
- Affinity Network on Research Coordination and Management: A resource for current and future research coordinators and managers to provide information, support and training, and a forum to communicate with the community of college research coordinators and managers.
- Affinity Network on Research Participants Registry and Database Network: Designing 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 comply with the requirements of HIPAA, the health privacy law.
- Affinity Network on Simulation (SAN): Building a community of practice in simulation and interprofessional education. The network is developing a database of training opportunities and current resources within the college, connecting faculty and students with appropriate learning opportunities, developing methods to expand expertise and creating avenues to disseminate information.
- Affinity Network on Social Emotional Learning and Intelligence (SELI): Building 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 students, faculty and staff based on the five SEL competencies:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision making
- Affinity Network on Training: Collaborates with Translational Teams to develop, implement and sustain a robust training infrastructure at the College of Health Solutions. The training infrastructure incorporates synchronous and asynchronous training components that support the work of translational research investigators and teams, community stakeholder collaborations, and student engagement and development.