Innovator of the Week: Sharyn Potter

February 6, 2017

Sharyn Potter

Sharyn Potter, associate professor of sociology and executive director of research for Prevention Innovations Research Center, was recently featured as Innovator of the Week on the Live Free and Start website.

Live Free and Start is a joint initiative of the N.H. Governor’s Office, the Business Finance Authority and the Department of Resources and Economic Development aimed at creating jobs and making New Hampshire the place for innovative businesses to start, grow and succeed.

Potter was highlighted for her leadership in developing the innovative uSafeNH free smartphone application (app), which launched this past fall. The app was created to prevent sexual assault on New Hampshire campuses by providing victims and their allies with access to immediate assistance and resources. It is available to students at 26 of the state’s colleges and universities.

Several organizations partnered to create the uSafeNH app: Prevention Innovations Research Center, the STEM Discovery Lab at UNH Manchester, N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, NH Violence Against Women Campus Consortium, and N.H. SART Project at the Attorney General’s Office. The effort won a $25,000 prize from the N.H. Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurs’ Fund that helped the team complete development and testing of the app.

In August 2017, the uSafeUS app will launch, expanding the app’s reach to campuses up and down the East Coast. uSafeUS won third prize at the UNH Social Venture Innovation Challenge in December 2016. An anonymous donor matched the third prize money, enabling Potter and the team to market uSafeUS.

“The mobile app developed by faculty researchers and community practitioners from around the state is an example of how UNH continues to meet their land grant commitment by collaboratively developing solutions for societal problems,” says Potter.

Learn more at Live Free and Start website.


Prevention Innovations Named Research Center

January 15, 2015

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UNH has established three new research centers that will leverage the university’s existing strengths to enhance interdisciplinary research opportunities for faculty and students — the Prevention Innovations: Research and Practice for Ending Violence Against Women Research Center; the Center for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Innovations (CAMMI), and the UNH Center for Infrastructure Resilience to Climate.

Each new center, selected by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research via an internal grant initiative, will receive $200,000 to boost its ability to compete for federal, state and private grants and contracts that support innovative research and scholarship.

Established in 2006, Prevention Innovations is a research and training unit at UNH that develops, implements and evaluates programs, policies and practices to help end violence against women. The center’s work is nationally and internationally recognized for its contributions to the prevention of sexual and relationship violence and stalking. The multidisciplinary center includes faculty and students from the sociology, psychology, social work and justice studies departments as well as the women’s studies program and UNH Law School; Sharyn Potter (sociology) and Jane Stapleton are center co-directors.

The post was excerpted from a longer article in UNH Today by Beth Potier.


UNH Tapped to Help White House Task Force End Campus Sexual Assault

April 30, 2014

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The University of New Hampshire is one of three universities tapped by a White House task force to do further research related to ending campus sexual assault. UNH’s Prevention Innovations was identified in “Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.” The center will design and implement a training program, in cooperation with campus-based practitioners from around the country and the university’s Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP).

The White House research will be led by Sharyn Potter, associate professor of sociology and co-director of Prevention Innovations. “The specific research will look at how presenting the same information using different delivery methods (online, in a class, via the web, in residence halls, etc.) impacts what students remember and how they use the information over time,” Potter explained.

“This is a great honor for Prevention Innovations and for the university overall,” said Jane Stapleton, co-director of UNH’s Prevention Innovations. “We are seen as leaders in the effort to end violence against women and the programs that have come out of Prevention Innovations have been proven to make a difference.”

The task force report also highlights Bringing in the Bystander, a university prevention program that emphasizes a bystander approach and assumes that everyone has a role to play in ending violence against women. It has been adapted and continues to be evaluated by more than 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, and it has been piloted for the U.S. Army in Europe.

To read the White House task force report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/report_0.pdf. For more information on Prevention Innovations: http://cola.unh.edu/prevention-innovations


Faculty Excellence

April 1, 2014

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The University has announced the 2014 winners of the university-wide faculty excellence and teaching awards.

Congratulations to these distinguished faculty members.

Outstanding Assistant Professor
Szu-Feng Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance

Distinguished Professor Award
Willem deVries, Professor, Department of Philosophy

Teaching Excellence Award
Joan Glutting, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Teaching Excellence Award
Suzanne Graham, Associate Professor, Department of Education

Excellence in International Engagement Award
Sheila McNamee, Professor, Department of Communication

Teaching Excellence Award
Catherine Moran, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology

Award for Excellence in Public Service
Sharyn Potter, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology


UNH professor to speak at national bullying prevention summit

September 20, 2011

photo of teenager being bullied

Sociology Professor Sharyn Potter will present at the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. One of only two academics invited to present, Prof. Potter will discuss the strategies and evaluation methods she and her UNH colleagues developed for the Know Your Power Bystander Social Marketing Campaign and how those might be used to combat bullying. Other presenters at this annual summit include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and executives from Facebook, Seventeen Magazine, and USA Network.


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