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Miriam Volat

Co-Director

M.S. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems and Soil Microbiology

I love being with Riverstyx. Every day in our work I am drawing on different, varied threads from throughout my personal and professional life, and fulfilling longtime dreams. As a home-schooled, semi-feral child, I was fortunate to be shaped by my love and commitment to our local creek and mountain. As a catholic high-school student, I had elaborate plots to dose nuns and politicians with psychedelics. In my my early twenties, I had the honor of being brought into medicine ceremonies with native leaders. All this led to graduate school in soil micro-biology and a career facilitating complex issues in agriculture and natural resources. 

My life’s work at Riverstyx now includes supporting psilocybin and MDMA research including those involving religious clergy, deep eco-ministry for direct-experience religious transformation, composting toilets and human bodies, and indigenous medicine, land, and cultural conservation, supporting balanced relationships between humans and our ecosystem. Our work is both deeply strategic and deeply personal. We do a kind of engaged philanthropy which allows for deep dives into uncharted territories, relationships, and structural change efforts. As a Mom, I’m fortunate my daughter, Cora, also supports our work and participates passionately on our many adventures. 

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T. Cody Swift

Co-Director 

MFT, M.A. Existential-Phenomenological Counseling Psychology

Early in life, I already had a tendency to question convention and was especially drawn to the “abnormal". In 4th grade I refused to participate in D.A.R.E 's hypocrisy labeling some drugs as bad and others good; at 13, my father gave me Krishnamurti’s “Freedom from the Known” and Becker’s “Denial of Death”; and at 16 I developed an intellectual fascination for psychedelics, tools for augmenting and understanding consciousness. In my 20's, I worked for three years as a hospice caregiver in low-income communities, befriending those at the end of their lives. Since 2008, I have been directing the Riverstyx Foundation and working as a psychotherapist, both venues to support others in discovering what gems may been lying in the shadows of life- the places rich in potential for healing and compassion. In addition, I have had a long-standing passion for working with film and qualitative research, both means for helping to more deeply understand and communicate the subjective nuance of the mystical and healing process. 

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Kevin Bayuk 

Impact Investment Director / Financial Health Officer

Designer of Business Ecologies

Kevin Bayuk works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is a co-founder and  partner with LIFT Economy, the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute San Francisco.  Kevin co-founded a software company and successfully raised millions of dollars in venture investment, built large teams and managed every aspect of a growing business before developing a deep understanding of the environmental and social circumstance of our time.

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Magalí Brecke  

Foundation Assistant, Chief Health Advisor

LAc, M.A. Traditional Chinese Medicine 

 

Magalí is honored to support the work of the Riverstyx Foundation through her role as operations manager and Chief Health Advisor. She comes to RiverStyx after 10 years in the field of holistic health and functional nutrition. In 2014 she founded Kitchen Witch, a thriving, organic bone broth company supporting thousands of people towards gut and whole body vibrancy. In the clinic, Magalí has guided hundreds of clients to more vitality through diet and lifestyle changes. It is this time of global crisis that called her from the work of supporting individual clients, to wanting to address systemic issues of transformation and led her to the work of the Riverstyx Foundation. It is her honor to support the work, team, and partners of Riverstyx on all aspects of health and wellness, in addition to her work keeping the foundation itself humming.

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Jessica Stewart  

Foundation Assistant

B.A. Psychology

Jess is passionate about psychology, trauma healing, healthy interpersonal relationships, and supporting projects that support the collective good. Her skills include problem-solving, communications, group facilitation, amatuer graphic design, and making people laugh. At RiverStyx she uses these skills to ensure a harmonious rhythm within the myriad of paradigm-shifting projects and badass co-conspirators. She is grateful for the opportunity to support meaningful work and work alongside those who are fierce in their commitment and vision of a better future. Jess has recently completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is looking forward to continuing her masters level work in the coming years. 

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Rachael Petersen

Psychedelics and Religion Program Director 

Rachael is grateful to serve as the Psychedelics and Religion Program Director at Riverstyx, where she builds programming to support clergy interested in psychedelic exploration and conducts qualitative research for the NYU/Johns Hopkins Religious Professionals Psilocybin Study. Rachael came to psychedelics after participating in a clinical trial for depression, prompted by her career fighting climate change and environmental destruction. Her psychedelic experiences have reignited Rachael’s interest in transcendence and transformation, and inspired her to seek to build bridges between the religious and psychedelic communities. She is the founder of Earthrise, a consultancy serving nonprofits, think tanks, and philanthropists working to transform our world. She has held senior positions at World Resources Institute, National Geographic Society, and advised multi-billion-dollar foundations on climate change. She is visiting fellow at Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions. A published poetry and nonfiction writer, her work explores themes of despair, personal and planetary crises, and conversion. She has a degree in anthropology and environmental policy at Rice University. 

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Dr. Tanya Kammonen

Program Manager - Indigenous Medicine 

Naturopathic Doctor

Tanya has been with Riverstyx for over three years, in the development of new biocultural projects, including the Indigenous Medicine Conservation Fund. With over a decade of experience in fisheries genetics and behavioral research, a psilocybin-mushroom-induced reflection led to a pivotal career shift. She began a study in Naturopathic Medicine, while simultaneously apprenticing in group process work with ayahuasca integration, pioneering methodology for psychospiritual healing that complements the work of traditional healers. Tanya’s investigations led her to become a mom of two young children, and to co-found the NGO Oni Xobo, both in collaboration with her partner in an intercultural relationship. She has been described as “disarming” in her ability to be “sure-footed on questions of science” and yet right at home where “we reach the spirit realm through plants.” Her work with Riverstyx is a completely fulfilling experience of being able to contribute to the world. 

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Will Barone

Riverstyx Qualitative Research Coordinator 

M.A., Psy.D

Will Barone is a Clinical Psychologist and Qualitative Researcher who joined RiverStyx Foundation to provide support in employing qualitative research projects that strive to further understand novel approaches to treating illness and improving quality of life, including modalities of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Will has been investigating psychedelics and altered states as a means for personal growth and treatment for more than a decade, and is passionate about understanding the experiences people have in clinical and ceremonial contexts with psychedelics. Will has experience leading multiple qualitative research projects in the psychedelic sciences, including investigations into MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD and anxiety associated with terminal illness. Will also brings his extensive clinical experience into this work. He has years of experience working with psychedelic and altered-state experiences, as well as organic breaks of reality, as a supervisor in the Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction center, as the Clinical Director of a psychiatric crisis facility, and in a range of other programs and spaces.

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VWC Management 

Foundation Accounting Firm 

VWC Management has been serving Riverstyx Foundation since its inception, providing invaluable accounting, grant management, and budgeting support, keeping everything flowing smoothly on the River Styx, and in compliance with IRS regulations. We are deeply grateful for Don, Katie, and Jeff for their steady guidance and wisdom. We also would like to thank Barwick and Partners for their invaluable, long-time financial management and guidance.