Allison Brager, Ph.D. ’11
Dr. Allison Brager achieves success as a scholar, soldier and elite athlete – all with a good night’s sleep.
As a soldier and elite athlete, Dr. Allison Brager is familiar with pushing herself physically and mentally. As an athlete, she was interested in both human performance and sleep, but it wasn’t until she signed up for a course called The Psychology of Sleep that she discovered the connection between the two. Brager earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Brown University in 2007, but she set out to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Kent State for the chance to work with David Glass, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and a world leading expert in the field. She is now an Army neuroscientist who studies sleep, particularly in extreme environments and high-stress situations. Brager currently serves as director of human performance operations and outreach education for the U.S. Army Warrior Fitness Training Center. Her work, however, has not stopped her from competing as an elite athlete. In 2018, she won eight gold medals and one silver medal in track and field, and set a record for the women’s pole vault in the 10th Gay Olympics. And the key to all her success? A good night’s sleep.
KSU: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
AB: Working toward a common goal that is really challenging physically and mentally, but also really rewarding and impactful.
KSU: What is your favorite trait in others?
KSU: What trait about yourself do you like least?
AB: Always putting other people's feelings and interests before my own.
KSU: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
AB: My mom's grandfather.
KSU: What is your favorite Kent State memory?
AB: Collecting samples with my lab mates in the middle of the night at Cunningham Hall.
KSU: What is your favorite journey?
AB: Being a part of the NASA astronaut candidate pipeline.
KSU: What is your guilty pleasure?
AB: Jersey Shore reruns.
KSU: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
AB: I was selected for my high school's athletic hall of fame; there's a legacy of professional and Olympic athletes.
KSU: If you could come back as one person, who would it be?
AB: Abraham Lincoln.
KSU: What part of your college experience most formed who you are today?
AB: Traveling the country and competing in track & field.