Sharyn Potter

Sharyn Potter

Phone: (603) 862-5023
Office: Prevention Innovations Research Center, 9 Madbury Road Suite 405, Durham, NH 03824

Sharyn J. Potter, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of in the Department of Women and Gender Studies and the Co-founder and Executive Director of Research at the Prevention Innovations Research Center: Ending Sexual and Relationship Violence and Stalking at the University of New Hampshire. She is also the Co-founder and Vice-President of Research of Soteria Solutions. Professor Potter is a global leader on the social scientific development and evaluation of bystander intervention strategies. Dr. Potter’s work focuses on engaging community members to work collaboratively to reduce sexual and relationship violence, stalking and harassment in high schools, colleges and universities, the United States Military and other work places. She has been a leader in the development, dissemination and evaluation and of theory- and research-based bystander intervention prevention strategies including the uSafeUS® mobile app, the Know Your Power® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign, and a bystander video game that models pro-social bystander behaviors, all of which have been shown to be effective with both campus and military audiences. Dr. Potter and her colleagues adapted both the Bringing in the Bystander® In-Person Prevention Program and the Know Your Power® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign for two US Army Posts in Europe (USAREUR). These two pilot studies represent a very small pool of studies specifically focused on sexual violence prevention in the US Military. She also led a study for the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to examine sexual misconduct policy delivery methods. In addition, Dr. Potter is a national expert on designing and administering sexual violence prevalence studies. Her recent TEDx talk describes the individual and societal economic and human capital losses attributed to sexual violence. Dr. Potter’s work has been groundbreaking in her effort to partner with organizations as they strategize and implement cultural change that impacts all organizational levels. Her work has been cited in international and national news media including the Guardian, New York Times, National Public Radio, Vox, Teen Vogue and Chronicle of Higher Education.

Courses Taught

  • JUST 602: Research Internship
  • WS 405: Gender, Power and Privilege
  • WS 796: Advanced Topics


  • Ph.D., Sociology, Emory University
  • M.P.H., Public Health, Emory University
  • B.S., State University of New York

Research Interests

  • Sexual violence bystander prevention and response strategies for university, military and community settings

Selected Publications

  • Howard, R. M., Potter, S. J., Guedj, C. E., & Moynihan, M. M. (2019). Sexual violence victimization among community college students. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH, 67(7), 674-687. doi:10.1080/07448481.2018.1500474

  • Dyer, K. E., Potter, S. J., Hamilton, A. B., Luger, T. M., Bergman, A. A., Yano, E. M., & Klap, R. (2019). WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES Article Gender Differences in Veterans' Perceptions of Harassment on Veterans Health Administration Grounds. WOMENS HEALTH ISSUES, 29, S83-S93. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2019.04.016

  • Potter, S. J., Flanagan, M., Seidman, M., Hodges, H., & Stapleton, J. G. (2019). Developing and Piloting Videogames to Increase College and University Students' Awareness and Efficacy of the Bystander Role in Incidents of Sexual Violence. GAMES FOR HEALTH JOURNAL, 8(1), 24-34. doi:10.1089/g4h.2017.0172

  • Banyard, V., Potter, S. J., Cares, A. C., Williams, L. M., Moynihan, M. M., & Stapleton, J. G. (2018). Multiple sexual violence prevention tools: doses and boosters. JOURNAL OF AGGRESSION CONFLICT AND PEACE RESEARCH, 10(2), 145-155. doi:10.1108/JACPR-05-2017-0287

  • Potter, S. J. (2016). Reducing Sexual Assault on Campus: Lessons From the Movement to Prevent Drunk Driving. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 106(5), 822-829. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303082

  • Cares, A. C., Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., Williams, L. M., Potter, S. J., & Stapleton, J. G. (2015). Changing Attitudes About Being a Bystander to Violence: Translating an In-Person Sexual Violence Prevention Program to a New Campus. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, 21(2), 165-187. doi:10.1177/1077801214564681

  • Potter, S. J. (2012). Using a Multimedia Social Marketing Campaign to Increase Active Bystanders on the College Campus. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH, 60(4), 282-295. doi:10.1080/07448481.2011.599350

  • Potter, S. J., Fountain, K., & Stapleton, J. G. (2012). Addressing Sexual and Relationship Violence in the LGBT Community Using a Bystander Framework. HARVARD REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY, 20(4), 201-208. doi:10.3109/10673229.2012.712838

  • Potter, S. J., Moynihan, M. M., & Stapleton, J. G. (2011). Using Social Self-Identification in Social Marketing Materials Aimed at Reducing Violence Against Women on Campus. JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, 26(5), 971-990. doi:10.1177/0886260510365870

  • Potter, S. J., & McKinlay, J. B. (2005). From a relationship to encounter: an examination of longitudinal and lateral dimensions in the doctor-patient relationship. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE, 61(2), 465-479. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.11.067

  • Most Cited Publications