We award innovation, creativity and impact in our students

Each year San Diego State University recognizes one graduating senior for exceptional entrepreneurial achievement while an undergraduate.

The Zahn Spirit of Innovation Award is funded by Irwin Zahn and the Moxie Foundation. Zahn’s philanthropic giving goes beyond this annual scholarship. His donations also created the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad and the Zahn Professorship of Creativity and Innovation.

Daisy Lopez smiling in a lab coat

Daisy Lopez, Class of 2024

Food scientist Daisy hopes to convince kids and adults alike to eat more nutritiously and sustainably by incorporating insects into appetizing treats.

Learn more about Daisy

Student sits in the ZIP Launchpad


Kekoa Brehm, Class of 2023

Kekoa is starting a global fashion brand, telling stories through clothing, piece by piece

Learn more about Kekoa


Student poses in front of electric racing car


Juan Rojas, Class of 2022

A drive to increase accessibility and affordability of electrical vehicles fuels Aztec Electric Racing's president

Learn more about Juan



Gabe Floresca-Igtanloc, Class of 2021

Gabe Floresca-Igtanloc overcame many roadblocks to ensure theater at SDSU would continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chasejamison "Chase" Akilah Manar-Spears, Class of 2020


A year in Ghana inspired a commitment to environmental and social justice that helped lead to her to an idea: Roots Collective. 

Learn more about Chase


Shurene Premo, Class of 2019


Shurene's commitment to a higher level of social work for Native Americans drives her ambition to someday build a Native American recovery and treatment center for her hometown Shoshone reservation in remote northern Nevada.

Learn more about Shurene


Chase Whittaker, Class of 2018


Chase founded the SanD/Stone Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to providing education and hygiene-focused interventions for vulnerable populations in Zambia, the United States and Mexico. 

Learn more about Chase

Anthony Berteaux, Class of 2017


Anthony, a journalism major, was a thought leader in the SDSU student body, challenging the status quo through columns on diversity, sexism, and religious tolerance in The Daily Aztec and as campus editor-at-large for The Huffington Post.

Learn more about Anthony

Austin Owens, Class of 2016


Austin is "passionate about solving problems and making things happen against all odds." He was a SDSU standout for founding the on-campus Mechatronics Club, competing in international RoboSub competitions and landing a post-graduation job at SpaceX, a space exploration company founded by Elon Musk.

Learn more about Austin