Affinity Research Group (ARG)



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The Affinity Research Group Model is a set of practices built on a cooperative team framework to support the creation and maintenance of dynamic and inclusive research groups.  Students learn and apply the knowledge and skills required for research and cooperative work in an ARG. Members share a core purpose, and the research group is designed to emphasize the conscious and explicit development of students’ disciplinary knowledge, research abilities, and team skills. An ARG deliberately designs activities aimed toward developing students’ disciplinary knowledge, research abilities, and team skills.  This model has been adopted across the country and in various disciplines.


  • Cooperative Learning
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Professional Skills Development

Community Members

  • Salam Daher - Dr. Salam Daher is an assistant professor in informatics and computer science at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). She is a courtesy faculty at University of Central Florida (UCF). She has a PhD in Modeling and Simulation (UCF, 2018) and a postdoc focusing on healthcare simulation & technology (UCF, 2019), an MS in digital […]
  • Patricia Morreale - Patricia Morreale is a Professor and Director of the School of Computer Science and Technology in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at Kean University. Her prior work on the design of multimedia systems and networks has developed techniques for error detection and secure processing, which have been patented and commercialized.  She conducts research in broadening […]
  • Nancy Amador - Nancy Amador currently serves the role of CAHSI Connector for the North East Region at Kean University, Union, NJ. She holds a Bachelor in Science with a focus in Biology. During her academic time at Kean, she worked for a clinical research center. Gaining the ability to effectively support multiple global clinical trials in diverse […]
  • Juan Li - Dr. Juan (Jenny) Li has been a faculty member of Kean school of computer science and technology since 2013.  Prior to Kean, she was a leading research scientist at formerly Bell Labs for 18 years. Her research interest includes testing, validation, and reliability of network systems and now AI/ML systems. She has published over 100 […]
  • Elsa Q. Villa - ARG Advocate
  • Ann Quiroz Gates - ARG Advocate
  • Andrea Tirres - ARG Member
Related Efforts

Related Efforts

Research Mentoring
Effective Practice
Resource Link

Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicated to provide resources to improve research mentoring relationships. It provides curricula, assessment tools and resources relevant for mentors and mentees, as well as those who would like to implement mentor training.

Related Communities

None specified to date



A Handbook of Effective Practices for Promoting Diversity and Involving Undergraduates in Research Groups
Resource Link (link to Amazon book)

The ARG handbook can be used as a step-by-step guide for newly formed research groups or as a reference manual for more established ones. Because groups differ in purpose and personality, the structure and activities presented can be adapted as needed to accommodate various environments, research areas, and audiences.

Affinity Research Group Workshops
Professional Development
Contact: Ann Gates

The ARG model facilitates workshops and structured activities that develop student members’ technical, communication, research, and cooperative group skills. Students develop research skills throughout the semester by working with the faculty mentor and through their pairing with more experienced student researchers.

Council on Undergraduate Research
Resource Link

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a national organization whose mission is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. CUR hosts an undergraduate research poster session on Capitol Hill, produces a Quarterly journal, and organizes institutes and conferences for students, faculty and program directors.
UTEP is an institutional member of CUR, along with over 900 other colleges and universities.

Mentoring, Student development, GMiS effort
Resource Link

MentorNet is a social network for mentoring open to any STEM student in the U.S. STEM students are mentored by professionals working in STEM fields. Pairs communicate 15-20 minutes weekly during MentorNet’s four-month mentorship cycle in which 16 prompts are presented for discussion. Following a cycle, mentees may invite their current mentor or a new one to begin a new mentorship. As the mentee advances, MentorNet provides prompts relevant to their current educational level and personal interests.



Dialog Sources

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This community engages in dialog as follows: TBD