Southern Management Leadership Program Staff

Harry Alford III, Interim Director, SMLP

Harry Alford III, the co-founder of a D.C.-based venture development firm, and a UMD adjunct professor, is the new Interim Director of UMD’s Southern Management Leadership Program.

A UMD alumnus, Alford has built a career centered on supporting diverse entrepreneurs and driving innovation opportunities. Most recently, Alford co-founded Humble Ventures, which accelerates diverse startups. At the same time, he has been teaching “Strategies for Innovation and Entrepreneurship” in the Southern Management Leadership Program.

Alford’s previous experiences also include managing day-to-day operations and program management for an incubator focused on veteran-owned startups and building a sports e-commerce startup into a profitable business.

Alford received his Bachelor’s degree in 2007 in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, where he also played lacrosse before playing professionally. Alford holds an MA in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and an MBA from Babson College.

Nancy Stalowski, Coordinator, SMLP

Prior to joining the Southern Management Program, Nancy was an Academic Advisor in the Department of Economics in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. As an Academic Advisor, she worked with a diverse population totaling 1,200 students. A large percentage of whom were interested in business and entrepreneurship. She also coordinated the internship experience for ECON students by liaising with the Career Center, informing students via the blog of internships appropriate to their interests, and coordinating ECON386, the department’s internship credit course. Before working at the University of Maryland, she was an Admissions Advisor at DeVry University. There she worked primarily with first generation college students and their families.

Nancy is a highly motivated individual with a real passion for higher education. She has extensive experience in various aspects of higher education. She also has a strong background in working with diverse groups of students in addition to faculty and administrators. She is currently working towards her doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration at George Washington University.

Nancy is a true Terp at heart. She received a B.A. in English Language and Literature as well as a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. She then went on to receive her M.A. in History also from the University of Maryland.

Gül Branco, Consultant, SMLP

Gül Branco is the former Program Director of the Southern Management Leadership Program (SMLP) at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the SMLP at UMD in 2014, Ms. Branco led the launch of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at Montgomery College in 2012, building all aspects of the program. While at Montgomery College, she established many collaborations between the local business community and the students she mentored in the Hillman Program.

Before coming to the SMLP, Ms. Branco was a faculty member at Delgado Community College and co-coordinator for the college's Entrepreneurship Program. She was also selected as a mod-faculty member for the Goldman Sachs/Babson College 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in New Orleans.

Ms. Branco has an extensive business experience with Fortune 500 companies in developing strategic organizational programs, implementing learning initiatives at all levels of the organization, transforming underperforming teams to highly effective teams, identifying opportunities for growth and new business ventures, creating business markets.

Ms. Branco earned her degrees from the Notre Dame de Namur University in California (MBA) and the Dokuz Eylül University in Turkey (BA).