Humanitarian STAR Awards

2018  Awardees

The distinguished winners of the 2018 Rotary Humanitarian STAR Awards stand above the rest. Each of these individuals has done something that advances the cause of humanity greatly.

Larry Sanger, Chad Mirkin, James Marggraff, Mihri Ozkan, Maria Velasco (Not pictured)

Helios
2018 Award Winner

Larry Sanger

Sanger is credited with creating and enforcing many of the policies and strategies that made Wikipedia possible during its formative years.

Health and Medical
2018 Award Winner

Chad Mirkin

Dr. Chad A. Mirkin

Nominated for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based bio-detection which allows doctors to accurately forecast cancer recurrence and guides radiation therapy by monitoring dose responses that ordinarily could not be tracked. Dr. Mirkin’s fundamental chemical discovery introduced a paradigm shift, with the promise of SNAs as vaccines for cancers and other diseases and the possibility to track and isolate live circulating tumor cells.

Knowledge Sharing
2018 Award Winner

James (Jim) Marggraff

Nominated for his lifelong learning and development, improving the human condition through Virtual and Augmented Reality. Dr. Marggraff has developed technology addressing the issue of human isolation in seniors and others. As well as technologies that transform intent into action through the eyes, allowing people with neurological disabilities, such as ALS, access to knowledge and communications otherwise unavailable to them.

Environmental Improvement
2018 Award Winner

Dr. Mihri Ozkan

New battery technology: Developing batteries for electric vehicles using organic matter and inexpensive, abundant renewable resources.

Disaster Relief and Recovery
2018 Award Winner

Maria Velasco

Nominated for her creation of HiveCube a modular housing company dedicated to the fostering of a safe, secure and sustainable Puerto Rican community. With her company, she partnered with Libraries without Borders to create the first completely hurricane-resistant and solar-powered pop-up library and makerspace in the world.