Administrative Staff & Office of the Presidentadmin2023-09-13T15:08:24-07:00
Celeste R. Townsend, MBA (Paiute/Shoshone)President & CEO
Celeste Townsend is an enrolled citizen of the Guidutikad numu Fort Bidwell Indian Community located in Northern California. She is also a descendent of the Shoshone-Paiute tribe of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee, Nevada. President Townsend adds over 30 years’ experience in Indian education to her role at California Indian Nations College (CINC). President Townsend obtained both her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Business and Management (concentrating in Finance) and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. She recently began a joint doctoral program (JDP) at the University of California, San Diego that is partnered with California State University, San Marcos.
Back in March 2015, Ms. Townsend was invited to join Native American professionals of the Inland Empire in a round table discussion of concerns with current educational system, inequitable access, and substandard support for Native Americans who only dream of higher education. These discussions soon channeled in on establishing a tribal college in the state of California. After a few short months, the visionary and founder of this committee (and soon-to-be college), Mrs. Theresa Mike, requested Ms. Townsend to lead what later became known as the CINC Strategic Planning Committee. It was Fall 2017, when the two presented a draft charter to the Tribal Council of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Missions Indians which soon led to the official induction of California Indian Nations College; and the charter was signed on September 19, 2017. With this, the Tribal Council immediately proposed a multimillion-dollar award to launch the college. Without delay, the Tribal Council established the initial Board of Trustees and hired Ms. Townsend as the Interim President. Leading a team of four, the administrative team began to configure its foundation with immediate course offerings in partnership with the University of California, Riverside Extension Center, which immediately began Fall 2018. With a successful launch, and a solid enrollment, the CINC Board of Trustees hired Townsend as the inaugural President & CEO of California Indian Nations College. President Townsend is honored and humbled to lead a resilient team of leaders and growing leaders at California Indian Nations College; she is truly proud of the educational services and opportunities they provide. But even more, President Townsend is truly proud of the students who enroll at CINC and who find their voice to become educated, strengthened, and empowered leaders of their tribal and local communities.
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 MoraylaPayroll & Purchasing Manager
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
Gloria HernandezAdministrative Associate
Eliana MejiaAdministrative Associate
I am a current student at cal state university San Bernardino, studying as a theatre education major. I am now in my sophomore year. I’ve been working with CINC since early June as a student associate. I hope to learn more of my culture and help students learn their cultures, and reach their goals at CINC.
Alfonso TaboadaAdministrative Operations Associate
Hello, I am Alfonso A. Taboada I am a California Indian Nation College (C.I.N.C.) Alumni. I am also an Administrative Operations Associate for C.I.N.C. I was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. I hope that I can help the community and the people in it achieve their goals and I think that C.I.N.C. is a great way to help strengthen the community.
Development & Fundraising Staff
Rachel MontanezFundraising and Grants Associate
Rachel Montanez has a multicultural background. She was born and raised in Southern California. She is a descendant of Gidutikad Paiute Band of Fort Bidwell Indian Community and descendant of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. She has a lot of respect for her Mexican heritage and the French-Canadian family that has positively impacted her life. She and her husband are raising one son. Being a part of the community as they travel is a priority as they provide strong cultural representation in their son’s upbringing. She is a CINC (California Indian Nations College) alumni who graduated in 2021 with an associate degree in business and technology; and in 2023 received an associate degree in Sociology. She credits her family for her strong morals and extraordinary ambitions. She is passionate about positively impacting her community and those she encounters. She is enthusiastic to be employed at CINC and reciprocate the inspiration to future students.
Regina Vasquez (Díne)Grants & Communications 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.