Celeste R. Townsend, MBA (Paiute/Shoshone)President & CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer Celeste Townsend, MBA (Paiute/Shoshone) brings over 25 years’ experience in Indian and post-secondary education to California Indian Nations College (CINC). She is an enrolled member of the Fort Bidwell Indian Community Paiute tribe in Northern California and is a descendent of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee, Nevada. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Business and Management and then her Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands with a concentration in Finance.
President Townsend joined the round table committee discussions of the College’s founding members in March 2015. In a few short months, the College’s visionary, Theresa Mike, entrusted her to lead what became known as the CINC Strategic Planning Committee. The two presented a charter to the Tribal Council of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Missions Indians, which chartered the College on September 19, 2017. Soon after, the Council approved and funded a two-year budget and hired Townsend as the Interim President. In January 2020 the CINC Board of Trustees officially hired her as the President & CEO of the College.
Office of the President Administrative Staff
Ryan A. MarianoEvents & Purchasing Manager, Executive Assistant to the President
Ryan Mariano has worked in academia for the past five years and has experience working in higher education. He has done clerical work, administrative work, and event coordinating. Ryan is excited to embark in this new chapter in his life by joining the California Indian Nations College. Ryan hopes that he can being his expertise to help create an institution that will help students with their educational aspirations. Contact me at 760-278-0617
Joanna BlackstoneFinancial & Contracts Manager
Joanna Blackstone has worked in finance and Tribal Gaming for the last 15 years. She has worked in financial planning, audit and reconciliations, banking, and project management. Joanna has worked with numerous charitable organizations in the Coachella Valley and enjoys participating in community outreach activities. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting, and traveling with her family. Joanna is excited to join the team and help CINC continue its commitment to its students and their communities. Contact me at 760-278-0617
Sandra MoraylaAdministrative Operations Specialist
Sandra Morayla is local to the Coachella Valley. She has a long history of love for learning and reading. She graduated with her BA in History from California State University, San Bernardino with an emphasis in Native American Studies. Sandra's dream has always been to work in academics, and she is committed to helping others reach their dreams in their scholastic journey by encouraging and aiding them in finding scholarships as well as helping them with essays for said scholarships. She also enjoys strengthening all underrepresented communities in academia. Contact me at 760-278-8753
Development & Fundraising Staff
Adolfo VelazquezDirector of Development
Adolfo Velazquez, a Coachella Valley native, sits as the Director of Development with California Indian Nations College. He holds a double bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Sociology and Anthropology as well as a master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from CSUSB. He brings over five years of community and government relations, as well as economic development and grant writing experience to the college. Adolfo has worked with many local and state level governmental offices and non-profits in the past with an emphasis on contract management and fundraising. He is determined to bring continued success and the well-deserved community recognition to the mission of CINC and the resiliency of the student body. On his free time, one can find Adolfo at his family’s date farms, testing new BBQ recipes on the grill, or working with friends on classic cars. Contact me at 760-278-0616
Regina Vasquez (Díne)Fundraising & Grants Associate
Regina Vasquez is from the Díne Nation. She is Bitter Water Clan born for Red House Clan. Her maternal grandfather is Salt People Clan and her paternal grandfather is Water’s Edge Clan. Currently, she is both a student and a staff member for the California Indian Nations College as the Fundraiser & Grants Associate in the Development Department. With her experience in technology and the desire to learn, she has a passion to help in anyway possible. Her goal is to be an integral part of grants and fundraising for the college and for the students’ future. On the personal side, she has been married to Paul Vasquez for 23 years and has 4 children and 1 grandchild. It is through the success of her children that has given her the push to go back to school and get a degree. With all her children being adult children, any spare time is given to crafts and volunteer work. Please feel free to get to know our soon-to-be graduate and new hire! Contact me at 760-278-8316
Ronald A. Stewart, Ph.D.Professional Consultant
Ronald A. Stewart holds a Doctorate in Organizational Behavior Studies, Leadership & Philanthropy from The Union Institute and University, a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications from Kent State University. Among the hallmarks of Dr. Stewart’s consultation work within the private, nonprofit, and public sectors are his tailored, practical solutions for organizations, staff, and volunteers. His services include a wide array of capacity building interventions such as training, executive coaching, executive search, board development, planning, evaluation, discussion facilitation, and fundraising. A native of rural southeastern Ohio, Dr. Stewart is keenly aware of the need to engage young people, especially those from Appalachia, in the consideration of contemporary global issues and to encourage their participation in the delivery of local and global solutions inspired by these increased awarenesses. In 2010, Dr. Stewart established the Ronald A. Stewart Fund for International Study and Service at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences to award qualified students with scholarship assistance so that they may engage in study and service around the globe.