Angelique Albert

Executive Director
(Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes)

Ms. Albert brings with her over 20 years experience in executive management of non-profits, philanthropy, business, Indian gaming, and Tribal education.  Most recently, she has served as Executive Director of Salish Kootenai College Foundation, where under her leadership and strategic planning efforts, the organization was transformed to ensure the future of the tribal college through capital fundraising efforts, collaborative partnerships, and legacy initiatives.

Angelique has dedicated her professional career in service to tribal communities and creating positive impacts. Prior to her work at the American Indian Graduate Center, Ms. Albert has served as the Executive Director of Salish Kootenai College Foundation where she was instrumental in planning, implementing the successful launch of their first $20 million capital campaign.  She served as Associate Director of the National American Indian Business Leaders Organization, the only American Indian non-profit solely dedicated to empowering business students in the United States.  She has served in various roles in philanthropy, including Lead Native American Program Officer for the Beaumont Foundation of America, and External Grant Reviewer for the Case Foundation.  Ms. Albert’s early career began by serving her own tribe as a Legal Intern, Court Appointed Special Advocate, and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.

Additionally, she has served as a board member for the Potlatch Fund, a Native led nonprofit that provides grants and leadership development in Tribal communities throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana.  Ms. Albert also served as a board member of S&K Gaming, LLC, one of the Tribal corporations owned by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.

In addition to her time working for others over the past twenty years, Ms. Albert has served as a business consultant, owned an art gallery, and is a national award-winning native artist. She is the proud mother to three boys and two grandsons.  She holds strong to her cultural beliefs and the dream of empowering people through social inclusion, economic progress, and education. Ms. Albert stated “ I believe education is essential to our self-sufficiency as tribal people.”

Ms. Albert is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and a graduate of Salish Kootenai College with a BA in Human Services and Gonzaga University with an MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship.

Email Angelique or call (505) 881-4584 ext.112 (Toll Free 1-800-628-1920).

Joan Currier

Chief Operating Officer

Joan joined American Indian Graduate Center, Inc. February 1999 and has been Chief Operating Officer since 2007.  In addition to overseeing finance, administrative activities and program planning and delivery, Joan has served as Interim Executive Director and coordinated the Executive Search Team in 2000 and again in 2006. Joan is an active participant in the organization’s community outreach activities and represents AIGC Scholars on the GMS Advisory Council and Gates Foundation Domestic Scholarship Provider Partnership.  She also serves on the Education Advisory Committee for NAFOA, the Native American Finance Officers’ Association.  Prior to joining the staff at AIGC Joan was the Accounting Manager at Futures for Children in Albuquerque.

Joan earned degrees in Management and Accounting at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and was the Controller of the American Cancer Society, Massachusetts Division from 1984 – 1993.  In 1993 she moved from Boston to New Mexico and has made her home here since.

Email Joan or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 104 (Toll Free 1-800-628-1920).

Erin Griego

ErinExecutive assistant

American Indian Graduate Center

Erin joined the AIGCS/GMS staff in April of 2011.

Email Erin or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 107 (Toll Free at 1-800-628-1920).

Chelsea Banteah

Receptionist / general office assistant
(zuni pueblo)

American Indian Graduate Center

Chelsea is from Zuni Pueblo. She joined the AIGC staff in February 2017.

Email Chelsea or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 122 (Toll Free: 1-800-628-1920)

Sara LaBarge

Director of scholarship operations
(Menominee nation)

American Indian Graduate Center

As Director of Scholarship Operations, Sara is responsible for the oversight of AIGC scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate level students throughout Indian Country. In addition to overseeing scholarships, Sara is responsible for providing student support and serving as a liaison between educational institutions and scholarship recipients.

Sara joined the American Indian Graduate Center staff in 2015. She is a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Sara was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2004. She earned her baccalaureate degree from Saint Norbert College (De Pere, WI.) in 2008. She then went on to earn her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2011. Sara is passionate about equal access to higher education and has dedicated her career to helping Native American students navigate higher education systems. In 2016, Sara was selected as one of NCAIED’s Native American 40 Under 40, an award that recognizes 40 American Indians who demonstrate leadership, initiative and dedication and have made significant contribution to their community. Having served over a decade in higher education, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the field.

Email Sara or call (505) 881-4584 ext.116 (Toll Free 1-800-628-1920).

Marveline Vallo Gabbard

Program Associate for Scholarships and Programs
(Pueblo of Acoma)

American Indian Graduate Center

As the Program Associate, Marveline is responsible for the oversight of AIGC scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate level students throughout the country.  She will assist with the application processes, respond to academic inquiries including financial aid issues, and assist with outreach efforts.

Marveline is from the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico.  She earned her Bachelor of University Studies degree from the University of New Mexico.  Marveline has been with AIGC since June 1998 and enjoys working with American Indian students in pursuing their educational goals.  Prior to joining AIGC, Marveline worked with Pueblo of Acoma Higher Education Program as is where she began her higher education career.

Email Marveline or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 111 (Toll Free 1-800-628-1920).

Josh Lucio

Program Associate for Scholarships and Programs
(Zuni pueblo)

American Indian Graduate Center

As the Program Associate, Josh is responsible for the oversight of AIGC scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate level students throughout the country. He will assist with the application processes, respond to academic inquiries including financial aid issues, and assist with outreach efforts.

Josh is Zuni Pueblo from Zuni, New Mexico. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology with two minors in Chemistry and American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. He was also an active member of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) and Beta Sigma Epsilon, an American Indian Fraternity. Josh joined AIGCS in September 2014 having served seven years administering the Zuni Tribal Scholarship program and coordinating various training opportunities for Zuni Tribal Members. In addition, Josh served a number of years as a Reader for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, an Adjunct Instructor for the University of New Mexico-Gallup branch campus, and former Chairman with the New Mexico Tribal Higher Education Commission. He volunteers his time serving on the board of directors for College Horizons and Graduate Horizons, Inc. Josh enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his lovely wife and two daughters.

Email Josh or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 125 (Toll free at 1-800-628-1920).

Lakota Coriz

Program Assistant
(Santo Domingo/Assiniboine)

American Indian Graduate Center

Lakota Coriz joined the American Indian Graduate Center staff, as Receptionist and AIGC Program Associate, in January 2016, after leaving a job with the Santo Domingo Pueblo Education Department.  It seemed to be a natural progression, with a capacity to assist even more students.

Email Lakota or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 121  (Toll Free: 1-800-628-1920)

Christa Moya

Director of Financial Aid / Student Services
(Diné)

American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship Program)

As the Director of Financial Aid and Student Services, Christa manages and directs all aspects of student services and financial aid operations. She also supervises Outreach, Academic Empowerment, Leadership and Alumni Relation programs for the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS) and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP). Her passions include developing innovative approaches to delivering programs and services to GMS Scholars, as well as assisting scholars with exploring positive educational experiences through program support, outreach, and advocacy.

Christa’s passion for making opportunities available to American Indian students is clear when she states, “I love to see students reach their unrealized potential and to make a difference in the lives of people around them; not only in their local communities but all across Indian Country.”

Christa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Criminology from the University of New Mexico. Christa also has a Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico.

Email Christa or call (505) 884-7007 ext.110 (Toll Free 1-866-884-7007).

Michael L. Bates

Academic Advisor
(Cherokee)

American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar Program)

Michael joined AIGCS in May of 2015. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Michael was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) in 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK) in 2012 and his Master of Education degree in School Administration, also from Northeastern State University, in 2015.

As Academic Advisor, Michael works with undergraduate and graduate Gates Scholars at institutions throughout the country. He is responsible for providing career and academic counsel, advising current and prospective scholars of scholarship requirements and responsibilities, and facilitating the resolution of academic and financial aid issues. He also accommodates students and scholars with testing strategies and writing skills, helps with the completion of scholarship applications, evaluates academic transcripts, and responds to academic inquiries, among other academic matters. Furthermore, Michael assists with outreach efforts by conducting GMS workshops throughout Indian country and providing overall program support to AIGCS/GMS programs.

Email Michael or call (505) 884-7007 ext. 108 (Toll Free at 1-866-884-7007).

Jason Yazzie

Program Assistant
(Dine’)

American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (GMS)

Jason joined AIGCS in August 2015. He is a member of the Navajo (Diné) tribe from Newcomb, New Mexico. When he is not in the office scanning, copying, filing, faxing, emailing, indexing or helping answer Scholar’s questions, you can find him hiking the Sandia’s with his wife, two kids and a pup named River’s. Or when he is not at AIGCS or spending time with his family he is glued to the computer screen looking for new ideas and information.

He has two Associate degrees from CNM, one focusing on System Administration and the other in Integrated Studies.

Email Jason or call (505) 884-7007 ext. 115 (Toll Free at 1-866-884-7007)

Gabriel M. Bell

Campus engagement manager
(Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe)

American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar Program)

Gabriel Bell is the Campus Engagement Manager for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program based in the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS). As a Campus Engagement Manager, Gabriel provides direct support to Gates Millennium Scholars linking them to campus resources and support to ensure their academic success.  He develops and maintains relationships with college and university higher administrators to secure Scholar access to enrichment programs, leadership development and he creates support networks for Scholars.

Gabriel joined AIGCS in 2010. He is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe based in Concho, Oklahoma. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at Oklahoma Baptist University as a Gates Millennium Scholar. Prior to coming to AIGCS, Gabriel spent time at Fort Mojave Telecommunications Inc. and the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes Department of Education.

Email Gabriel or call (505) 884-7007 ext. 106 (Toll free at 1-866-884-7007).

Jean Tenorio

Controller

American Indian Graduate Center

As the Controller, Jean is responsible for the financial leadership of AIGCS. Her responsibility is upholding strong financial management and accountability, while providing timely, accurate and reliable financial information and enhancing internal controls.

Jean joined AIGCS in August 2015. Her background includes 15 years of experience working with non-profit organizations. Before joining AIGCS, Jean worked with First Nations Community HealthSource, the City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Jean received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Polytechnic University of  the Philippines. After receiving her degree, she worked with her father’s construction company for five years.

Email Jean or call (505) 881-4584, ext.119 (Toll free at 1-800-628-1920).

Matthew Collins

Finance assistant
(Dine’)

American Indian Graduate Center
Matthew joined the AIGC staff in August 2014.

Email Matt or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 118  (Toll Free: 1-800-628-1920)

Adele Begay

I.T. Assistant
(Navajo)

American Indian Graduate Center

Adele joined the AIGC staff in February of 2005. She holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Networking Technology from Central New Mexico Community College.

Email Adele or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 103 (Toll Free at 1-800-628-1920).