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Kent State University alumna and Army neuroscientist a step closer to reaching her dreams of becoming an astronaut

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 13:44:14-04

CLEVELAND — Since she was 7 years old, Dr. Allison Brager knew she wanted to be an astronaut. Now years later, as an alumna of Kent State University and an active duty army neuroscientist, one of the few women in her position, currently stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, she is on her way to fulfilling her childhood dream.

She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University, with an area of experience in neuroscience and physiology.

Part of becoming an astronaut and reaching this level of achievement is learning from your failures, and Brager credits some of her mentors at the university.

“I was doing very high risk, high reward science there and was working with some of the best experts in the world and my particular field," Brager said. "And they really pushed me to not only be the best scientist but the best communicator, the best writer, the best teacher.”

On her first day at her station, her sergeant major told her “you’re going to be an astronaut.”

Her training in the army and current role as a neuroscientist have helped her thrive in the unknown.

She has been in the application process to become an astronaut for two years and is still in the pipeline with one day becoming an astronaut candidate.

Everything she has accomplished in her career has all come back to her upbringing in Northeast Ohio.

“LeBron James says, 'I'm just like a kid from Northeastern Ohio.' And I really, you know, the life lessons I learned growing up in Northeastern Ohio, they've stuck with me and got me to where I am today," Brager said. "For all the kids in Northeastern Ohio: never give up on your dreams."

On top of her academic accomplishments, she is a two-time CrossFit Games and regional competitor, and won eight gold medals, one silver in track and field and set a new record in the women’s pole vault at the 10th Gay Olympics in Paris in 2018.

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