Board of Directors

Polinho Katina, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor 

Advanced Manufacturing Management

University of South Carolina Upstate

Spartanburg, SC

Nina Fabian Nisperos, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Modeling, Simulation & Visualization Engineering

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA

Dr. Nicole Schramm-Sapyta

Associate Professor of the Practice

Associate Director

Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Durham, NC


Amaya Tala (a.k.a. Nina Magpili-Smith), President

Nina Magpili-Smith is a holistic community healer, connector, and cultivator who addresses individual, relational, societal, and environmental root aspects of raising humanity’s consciousness, facilitating spiritual evolution, and bringing out the beauty and strength in our nature within that are in rhythm and in harmony with Mother Earth. Based on her life journey as a mixed Filipino and Hispanic individual who experienced struggles in battling silence, the Asian model minority myth, postcolonialism, depression, suicidal ideation, alcohol/cigarette use, and poverty, she founded INtangibles that aims to integrate the intangible and tangible aspects of life and leads The RootSwell Project that aims to co-create a sustainable community ecosystem led by people from underresourced communities. She considers herself an avid student of life, spirit, nature, and fellow humans who is passionate about sharing her learnings and gifts to help others transcend and ascend.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics from the University of the Philippines - Diliman and Ph.D. in Engineering Management & Systems Engineering from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.

Holly McCoy, Treasurer

Holly McCoy is a soul-centered dancer, artist, fashionista & peer supporter from underresourced communities who lovingly uses her intense life experiences to build community, support, and enrich others with care, rhythm, beauty, & art. Her journey as a single mom of three of breaking free from the grasp of systemic strains, including her journey towards sobriety, moving from a homeless shelter, and healing from domestic violence, paints a remarkable picture of resilience, wisdom, inspiration, strength, possibilities, and realities for herself as she takes agency of her life and freedom with her community rooting for her. As part of her becoming and being sober for a year, she now teaches inspirational dance classes, leads Struggles Synonymous meetings, co-leads a nonprofit and The RootSwell Thribe community gatherings, and takes community health and peer support classes, truly inspiring many people around her. She resides in Durham, North Carolina.

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