Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES)

About ACES

The Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium is a university-wide, daylong event that occurs in late March. ACES showcases the best of our students' research and creativity. Undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty mentors in their disciplines to write and submit abstracts for the competition. The approved abstracts are then turned into oral presentations or posters to be presented at the symposium.

Past winners have presented research on gene therapy, business relations, army recruiting, pain control, better tools for builders, history, philosophy, biochemistry, engineering. They have presented works of art, literature, music, and stage performances. ACES is truly an interdisciplinary event in which any student from any program can participate.


In addition to the standard ACES awards, presentations and posters that students submit as being relevant to sustainability also will be eligible to win additional sustainability awards. Presenters who want to be eligible for this additional category should make certain that the appropriate box is checked when submitting an abstract.

Keynote Speaker
Jeb Bush

Image of Jeb Bush.

Jeb Bush was the 43rd governor of the state of Florida, serving from 1999 through 2006. He was the third Republican elected to the state's highest office and the only Republican in the state's history to be reelected.

During his two terms, Bush championed major reform of government programs in education and Medicaid. The state also launched and accelerated restoration of America's Everglades, the largest project of its kind in the world, to save the habitat of 60 threatened and endangered species and provide a long-term supply of drinking water for 8 million people in South Florida.

Bush served as Florida's secretary of commerce under Bob Martinez, Florida's 40th governor. He also co-authored "Profiles in Character," a book profiling 14 of Florida's civic heroes – people making a difference without claiming a single news headline.

Bush earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Florida in 1981, where he started a real estate development company with partner Armando Codina.

Currently, Bush is the president of the consulting firm Jeb Bush and Associates and is on the boards of CNL Bancshares and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. In civic and charitable affairs, Bush serves on the boards of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Foundation of Florida's Future, CASEnergy, Volunteer USA and Our Pledge. He and his wife, Columba, live in Miami and have three grown children.

Events with Mr. Bush

Faculty Roundtable Discussion
Friday, March 23, 2012
3:00 - 4:00 p.m., Carlisle Suite,
E.H. Hereford University Center
To register for this event, visit

Keynote Address
Friday, March 23, 2012
8:00 p.m., College Park Center
Free and open to the public (ticket required)

The ACES keynote speaker is included in the Maverick Speakers series and is generously funded by the Office of the President, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Education and Health Professions, the School of Urban and Public Affairs and the Office of Graduate Studies.

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School at (voice). Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.