About SARE Founding Director

Cathy Kabacoff started her career as a scientist at University of Maryland.  To pursue her love of education and helping young people become their best, she became a primary and secondary school teacher (4th and 8th grades).  She taught in the public school system, but found that the current trends in education prevented her from teaching students in the manner that she believes in.  Cathy then returned to scientific research in 2005 when she joined the Robinson lab.  Cathy began pursuing questions about how cells establish and maintain polarity during directed migration and in particular discovered that the actin crosslinker dynacortin is essential in this process (Kabacoff et al. 2007).  In 2009, we had two high school students from Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore come to the lab for a summer internship.  However, during the summer, we gradually learned that the students did not really have the skills that we expected based on their grade level.  Having extensive experience as an educator, Cathy quickly diagnosed the situation and began tutoring one of the students.  By the end of the summer, Cathy was able to make tremendous progress with the student, helping him to grow considerably in reading and writing.  After the completion of the summer, Cathy and all of the members of the Robinson lab performed serious introspection about whether we could really use our rich environment of a research laboratory to help develop promising disadvantaged youth.  The decision was made that we had to go all in and develop the ideal teaching and mentoring program to assist these students in succeeding academically and professionally, and hence, SARE was born.  Under Cathy's tutelage, SARE has developed into a complete, multifaceted training program that addresses the full needs of its scholars.  Mentoring, academic fortification, professionalism, and research are the four pillars of SARE.  Indeed, SARE's success is due to Cathy's extraordinary care and expertise for educating high school youth.  SARE has achieved many successes in the form of very successful scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds due to her commitment, enthusiasm, and quality as a mentor-educator.