P. ‘Sam’ Deloria

(Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)

Sam attended both undergraduate and law school at Yale University and, for the previous 35 years, served as Director of the American Indian Law Center, Inc. Under Mr. Deloria’s direction, the American Indian Law Center performed groundbreaking work in the analysis of Federal Indian Policy, including helping to define the role of tribes in the federal system. The Law Center has also taken the lead in strengthening tribal government institutions. He will remain active as one of the premier analysts of Indian policy in the nation. Mr. Deloria was the founder and first Secretary-General of the World Council of Indigenous People and, in 1976, was one of the founders of the Commission on State-Tribal Relations. He is also a member of the National Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects of research, established by the Indian Health Service.

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

Joan Currier

Joan CurrierChief Operating Officer

Joan joined AIGC in February 1999. In addition to overseeing finance and administrative activities, she served as Interim Executive Director and coordinated the Executive Search Team in 2000. Joan has a B.S. in Management and Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and over 15 years of experience working in nonprofit management.

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

Melvin Monette

Melvin MonetteDirector of Graduate Fellowship and Special Programs
(Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians)

Melvin has dedicated his work to finding and networking resources for American Indian and Alaska Native students and families in higher education.  To assure the highest quality service and information to the AIGC recipients, Melvin works to maintain a national presence by serving on organization related committees.  Recently, Melvin was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Indian Education Association to advocate for policies in higher education.  As a member of the College Professionals International, Melvin offers to serve as the Chair for their Native American Network which led him to assist in the creation of a national professional development organization – the National Coalition for the Advancement of Natives in Higher Education.  He has also served as an Ambassador of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (AIGC Scholars) and Read Trainer for several years. Melvin enjoys time with his adult daughters and their families as well as his partner, John, doing home repairs, exploring New Mexico and enjoying local restaurants.  Mr. Monette has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota.

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

Marveline Vallo Gabbard

121420111353577141Assistant of Graduate Fellow and Special Programs
(Pueblo of Acoma)

Marveline is from Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, and has been AIGC’s Program Assistant of Graduate Fellowships and Special Programs since July, 1998.

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)

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) 884-7007 ext. 117 (Toll free at 1-866-884-7007).

Matthew Collins

MattProgram Assistant for Scholarships and programs

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

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

Christa Moya

52201117102610036Director of Financial Aid / Student Services

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).

Erin Griego

ErinCoordinator of operations and events specialist

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

Email Erin or call (505) 884-7007 ext. 102 (Toll Free at 1-866-884-7007).

Michael L. Bates

MBatesAcademic Advisor

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).

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).

Paula Gibson


Paula joined AIGC in October 2014.  She has a B.A in Information System Management from the University of New Mexico.  Paula is a CPA and has worked with tribal organizations since 2000.

Email Paula or call (505) 881-4584 ext. 119 (Toll Free at 1-800-628-1920)

James C. Gabbard

52201117123510487Accounting Assistant
(Wichita and Affiliated Tribes)

American Indian Graduate Center

James has a business and accounting background, having taken courses at Haskell Indian Junior College (Lawrence, KS), George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), and the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM). James joined the staff of AIGC/AIGC Scholars in February, 2003.

Prior to joining AIGC, James served as Office Manager for an American Indian-owned small business. He was also employed with the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for over 14 years. James is a member of the Wichita, Caddo and Delaware Tribes of Oklahoma; however, he is proud to consider Albuquerque, New Mexico, his home.

Email James or call (505) 881-4584, ext.118 (Toll free at 1-800-628-1920).

Susan Duran

5220111712598218Executive Assistant

American Indian Graduate Center

Susan joined AIGC in January, 2004, following over five years as Executive Assistant to the Director of All Faiths Receiving Home in Albuquerque.

Although she has worked in various settings for over twenty years, including government, public and private corporations and owning her own business, Susan has found she prefers the team spirit and personal commitment of a non-profit environment. She has lived in Albuquerque since 1971 and holds a B.A. degree in English.

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

Linda J. Niezgodzki

5220111711521419Development Associate

As Development Associate, Linda performs a variety of duties to support the efforts of annual giving, membership and alumni relations programs. Linda joined AIGCS in 2009.

Email Linda or call (505) 881-4584, ext.109 (Toll free at 1-800-628-1920).

Adele Begay

5220111713349679I.T. Assistant

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).