Anaïs Flora Akassi Assale came to George Mason University from her home in Côte d'Ivoire, in western Africa. As she worked through the challenges of familiarizing herself to life in the United States and on the George Mason campus, at the end of her freshman year she faced a more significant test: because of a disputed presidential election result, her country had become engulfed in violence.
With many family members still in Côte d'Ivoire, Flora faced the choice of trying to return home or to carry on with her work at Mason. She made up her mind to double her efforts with her studies and make her family proud of her courage. Her hard work paid off and she maintained her excellent grade point average.
Justifiably proud of her academic achievements, Flora has been invited to join an array of honor societies: Phi Beta Delta, Pi Delta Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Golden Key International Honour Society, among others.
Flora has also distinguished herself in her efforts to assist other international students. For the past two years, she has worked with students at Mason's Center for International Student Access (CISA), helping students from around the world transition into university life at Mason. Because of her hard work and her academic success, she received the first-ever CISA Scholarship award.