A technology instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word who has developed a smartphone application to curb bullying has been named a USA Network Characters United grant winner.
Timothy M. Porter, the CEO and founder of Appddiction Studio, a company specializing in smartphone application development, launched his “StopBullies” mobile app to help students and schools stand up to bullies.
The app allows bullying victims and bystanders to anonymously alert school administrators to bullying activity. In addition to its reporting features, the application also provides helpful
information and resources about bullying, such as warning signs and where to find help. The app also tackles cyberbullying. If a student is being harassed online, they can take a screenshot of the messages or photos they have received to send to administrators. With this app, Porter has devised an innovative method to harness the power of technology to combat the scourge of bullying.
Porter, 40, is one of 10 honorees from the hundreds that were nominated on charactersunite.com during “Characters Unite Month” in February “for their extraordinary efforts in combating prejudice and discrimination,” according to the cable network.
Porter gets a $5,000 grant from USA Network, and is featured on-air in a public service announcement and online at charactersunite.com.
“Characters Unite Award winners deserve to be recognized for their tireless work in fighting hate and discrimination and promoting acceptance in their communities,” Bridget Baker, president of NBC Universal TV Networks Distribution, said in a news release. “Along with our distribution partners, we salute these winners on the incredible efforts they lead.”
Porter, who lives in Cibolo, started Appddiction Studio, LLC, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that specializes in mobile and web-based technology solutions, last year. His company works with smartphone apps and web apps for clients in federal, commercial, nonprofit, education and other industries.
Since 2009, Porter, a native of Vicksburg, Miss., has worked at UIW. Before coming to UIW, he served 10 years in the Army. He was injured in a bomb explosion and was medically discharged as a sergeant first class.
Porter said he was excited to win the award and make a contribution to stop bullying.
“Bullying is a senseless problem that is growing in number and severity in communities across the country and it needs to stop,” Porter said. “This award helps to raise awareness of our app that uses technology to put a solution to work for bullying prevention.”