Meet Our Team
Making it happen.
Kate McKinney is the founder and Director of the Kentucky STAR Center Initiative. Her research specializes in understanding complex interactive signaling pathways that connect a late-onset nerurodegenerative disease with a senescence-regulating growth hormone. Kate founded the STAR Center in 2016, after discovering the lack of research tools available to high school students, and hopes to see it expand even further.
"I don't believe you can truly understand science if you've never DONE science. Science is so much more than just words on a page in a textbook. It's about exploring, experimenting, and learning from your mistakes."
Maia Taffe is Financial Director of the Kentucky STAR Center. She’s a math nerd and has a passion for learning. Maia hopes to get an undergraduate degree in mathematics, and continue to focus on mathematics research and aeronautics (while doing scientific research as a hobby). Afterwards she wishes to be a calculus professor at a well-known college or go on and become a research mathematician for NASA. Maia believes the STAR Center has the potential to change people’s views about science. She hopes the STAR Center will help people to realize youth have the potential to find solutions for the earth’s problems through science.
Riley Grove is co-founder of the initiative, a 9th grade student from Scott County who loves animals and wants to explore the world of science. She plans to go to a Kentucky university and major in a scientific field, possibly becoming a veterinarian in the future. She supports the STAR Center and volunteers her time because she recognizes that what we do now determines what happens in the future.
I believe in one thing—that only a life lived for others is a life worth living.