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.