A first-in-family college graduate from the Ohio, Kathy earned her PhD with Dr. David Asai at Purdue University studying the biochemistry and molecular basis of cell division and motility. As an NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Scholar, she investigated the recognition mechanisms of sperm-egg interaction at SUNY-Stony Brook before joining the UCSB faculty in 1993. A Searle Scholar and NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow, Kathy continues to pursue questions of cellular recognition and signal control and was recognized as an AAAS Fellow in 2018 for that work and her contributions to STEM education. In addition to mentoring students in the research lab and advising, she teaches a variety of courses from small graduate seminars, INT courses, and research methods courses, to large lecture courses and an advanced upper division laboratory course. Committed to student learning and drawing on her first gen experiences, she has also been recognized with the MLPS Teaching Award and considers her students as junior colleagues, inviting them to join in the lifelong journey of learning.