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Lucie Gayelle Assonfack Kana

What was your academic and professional background before ASE?

Before ASE, I was studying pure mathematics at the University of Yaoundé I.

What skills did you gain from your coursework at ASE?

ASE makes me discover the dynamism that I am capable of. I learned to be fluent in English and to speak without any fear in front of people.

I learned softwares like Stata, R and Latex.

At ASE I learned how to ask hard questions and generate responses based on the results of analysis. I learned how to do analysis to build systems that would act as intermediaries between public officials and the citizens they serve, both asking and answering questions relevant to choices that have a lot of impact on people’s lives.

I learned how theory in mathematics can be used in modeling and testing real life situations. I strongly believe that in order for us to collectively solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to devise solutions driven by rigorous scientific analysis and aided by modern advances in computation.

Where will you pursue your Ph.D.? Why did you choose to continue your studies there?

I will study at Georgia State University because their doctoral program in economics takes a pioneering approach that emphasizes public policy and empirical evaluation. In addition, I chose this program because of the high academic standards and policy orientation, internationally renowned faculty and their good research centers.

How did ASE help you gain acceptance to a doctoral program?

ASE helped me by preparing me for the GRE and TOEFL exams. In fact, we spent like three months with PiAf (Princeton in Africa Fellows) like Sarah Pollnow preparing for those exams.

How would you describe the student experience at ASE?

I will say intense in courses, hard work, innovation and research.

What is your best memory from ASE?

My best memory at ASE was in December 2017, when I had the privilege to present my master thesis at SIER in front of many professors from Princeton University, Georgia State, and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. This experience was at the same time concrete and filled with emotion.