Dr. Allison Anderson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and an Adjunct Professor in Integrative Physiology. Her work focuses on aerospace biomedical engineering and human physiology in extreme environments, with the goal of enabling a human mission to Mars. She received a Ph.D. from MIT and a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. She grew up on a farm in rural Missouri, is the fourth child of five, and is now a private pilot.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up & why?

    I grew up on a farm in rural Missouri, so the stars at night have always captured my attention. I don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t feel in love with the stars. A lot of people say they wanted to be an astronaut when they were 8. I think for me the difference was that my love of space also matched my love of math and science, and my love of building things. Aerospace engineering was a logical extension of my interests.

      Who are 3 people that inspire you the most, and why?

        1. My grandpa, Elden Whiteneck – he was one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.
        2.  Neil Armstrong – he embodies exceptional dedication to a goal without personal gain.
        3.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – his books inspire my sense of adventure while also causing me to reflect upon how I interact with other people.

      What's a piece of advice that you live by?

      All you can do is your best. If you fail, then at least you can be proud of yourself for the work you have done.

      See Allison Speak at TEDxMileHigh: Imagine

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