Skip to main content
Home About Us News & Stories

A look back at the 2024 Pride Mentorship Program

A look back at the 2024 Pride Mentorship Program

Members of the Pride Mentorship program posing for a picture in front of a Pride Flag

By Erica Lane

The recently concluded 6-week Pride Mentorship Program successfully connected 21 mentorship pairs, bringing together talented LGBTQ+ students, their allies, and experienced Terp alumni. The program focused on promoting career and scholarly success, aiding in career exploration and fostering lasting relationships.

Participants gained invaluable insights and skills through personalized guidance while also building a supportive community. Feedback from both mentors and mentees highlighted the program's positive impact, ensuring its legacy will continue to inspire and support future participants.

Read on to learn about two mentors and their experiences in the 2024 Terp Pride Mentorship Program!

Kathy Cowie '86

Kathy Cowie ’86

“My most enduring friendship from UMD is with a friend who came out to me not long after we left school. At the time, though I saw evidence to the contrary, I still thought there were an impressive number of programs and support for the LGBTQ community. I had come from a very sheltered all-girls catholic school, and my friend helped me to realize that things were not so easy. In my own career, I saw this was true for a number of my colleagues, and sadly, not all that much has changed.

I feel a deep responsibility to give back. As a former student in the graphic design program, I particularly valued the portfolio/business classes that we were required to take, and how important they were to the way I thought of my career and each job application. I always wished we had more contact with working graphic designers outside the classroom. I have had a long career, and while there won't be any books written about our business or mansions purchased with my earnings, it has been terrific. Having the opportunity to encourage someone entering the field is every bit as rewarding.

I thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor! My mentee was just beginning their time in the program, after completing an associates degree, so it was clear they were committed to this path. They were eager to learn, listened patiently to my long-winded stories and asked thoughtful questions. I would have continued it for longer if the semester had not ended!”

Luis Garcia '99

Luis Garcia ’99

I wanted to help in any capacity that I could and had a great time getting to know my mentee. Throughout my career I have enjoyed managing younger accountants and helping them grow. I like the teaching/guiding process and the Pride Mentorship Program let me get a chance to do a little coaching again.

It’s also good to build relationships. My mentee was a fantastic young person who was eager to get out there and put his skills to use. I made it clear to him that even though the program is over, I will always be a resource if he ever needs it.

I enjoyed our conversations and giving him any pointers that I could to help him navigate interviews and potential workplaces. It felt really good passing along my knowledge and experiences, and I would absolutely love to do another mentorship program.”

Learn more about events like the Pride Mentorship Program by updating your contact information to include information about the Lambda Pride Alumni Network. For more information please contact


The Alumni Blog connects you with the latest at UMD. Check out articles on advancing your personal and professional goals, elevating your UMD pride, and celebrating Terp traditions, legacies and accomplishments.

Have an interesting story to tell about yourself or your friends from your days at UMD? Email our team at for a chance to be featured on the Alumni Association blog.

For even more content, follow the Alumni Association on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!