FAU Student Named Florida’s ‘Student of the Year’

By kelsie weekes | 6/22/2017

Florida Atlantic University graduate Tevin Ali has been named the 2017 Student of the Year by the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FloridaACE). Ali graduated from FAU in May with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.

Each year, FloridaACE recognizes an outstanding student from a university in Florida based on his or her achievements in experiential learning and involvement on their college campus. The award was recently presented during the FloridaACE Annual Conference in Tampa.

During the summer of 2016, Ali was accepted to The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, where he completed an internship with STEMConnector, a Washington D.C. company whose mission is to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) involvement in the nation. He was honored to give the closing commencement address to the Washington Center’s class of 2016.

“My experience with The Washington Center and STEMConnector transformed me into a confident young professional who is able to help others realize their potential,” he said. “It was during this experience that I found my voice and stepped into professional public speaking.”

At FAU, Ali served as an Elite Owl Red Jacket Leadership & Service ambassador, where he served as a keynote speaker for the ninth annual iLead Student Leadership Conference. He also completed three internships, conducted undergraduate research in the lab of David Binninger, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences at FAU, and served as president of FAU’s Council of Scholarship & Inquiry. He credits FAU’s Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning, the FAU Career Center and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science for supporting him during his time as an Owl.

This fall, Ali will begin graduate school at Johns Hopkins University where he will study biotechnology enterprise and entrepreneurship. He hopes one day to manage his own biotechnology company and become a motivational speaker.

“As a first-generation college student, the support of these FAU resources was critical to my success,” he said. “Without a team of people pushing me to new heights, I would not have achieved what I did, and I wouldn’t have been accepted to my dream school.”