top of page



Jennifer Ashby-Bullock, MSW, LCSW, is a social worker on staff at the Counseling and Psychological Services of Duke University. Ms. Bullock is a graduate of Smith College School for Social Work in Massachusetts and completed her social work internship at Duke. She has also worked as a social worker at Duke Hospital and as a psychotherapist in private practice. Ms. Bullock enjoys working with university students, recognizing their unique potential for discovery, growth, and change. She has a particular interest in students who are marginalized in one or more of their identities. Her theoretical underpinnings are psychodynamic, and she approaches students and their challenges using a collaborative, interpersonal, developmental approach that incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness. Clinical areas of interest include depression, anxiety, grief/bereavement, and couples therapy. Ms. Bullock has a strong commitment to social justice and helping those impacted by racism and other forms of discrimination and oppression. When not working, she enjoys reading, running, and playing with her children. 

Chantelle Bernard, EdD, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Dr. Bernard has more than 15 years of experience promoting and facilitating educational, interpersonal and professional growth opportunities for students in a higher education environment. She earned her doctoral degree in education from Liberty University’s School of Behavioral Science. She holds a master’s in human services as well as an educational specialist degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina—Charlotte, and her research interests include examining the effects of anxiety and loneliness on brain chemistry, as well as the impact of prolonged exposure to social networking sites on the emotional and social development of emerging adults (18—22). She is trained in mindfulness, meditation, CBT, and various solution-focused techniques. In her spare time, Dr. Bernard actively volunteers on campus working with student groups, as well as with national organizations serving the Mid-Atlantic Region and the greater Richmond community. 

Mary M. Churchill, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist (LCP). She has been on staff at the University of Richmond’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in Virginia since 1989. She serves at the university’s disabilities advisor and is a member of the university’s Eating and Body Image Concerns team. Dr. Churchill earned her BA in social work and her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to joining the university, she was a psychologist in the Forensic Unit at Central State Hospital. Before her employment at Central State Hospital, she was the employee assistance program director at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She has also worked with various companies and corporations providing management development, diversity training, and assessments. Dr. Churchill enjoys spending time with her family and friends and considered herself a lover of good food. She believes in four essential elements to help people cope with change: SEEP—sleep, eat, exercise, and plan to sleep, eat, and exercise. She maintains the following tenets: your past does not define your future; people can change but change requires work; and counseling provides a safe space to work on issues. She is a member of the Association of Higher Education in Disabilities.

Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS, is an author, speaker, and expert in using integrative medicine for the treatment of food and body image issues and addictions. She is board certified in preventative medicine and also in addiction medicine and is a graduate of Dr. Andrew Weil’s fellowship in integrative medicine. She consults with treatment centers around the US that want to include her unique integrative medicine approach to treat eating disorders and addictions. She is the author of three books; the latest is The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook. Dr. Ross is the CEO of The Anchor Program™, an online coaching program for food and body image issues. Dr. Ross’s belief that addictions and eating disorders are a wake-up call to change not only on the psychological and behavioral level but also on the mental and spiritual levels is a compelling thread that runs through all of her work with clients.

Jacqueline Conley, PhD, is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She is department chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Conley received her PhD in counseling psychology at Howard University and her master’s in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois, Springfield. In Florida, Dr. Conley is a licensed clinical mental health counselor (LCMHC) and works part-time at her private practice, Life Changing Strategies. In her role as approved clinical supervisor, Dr. Conley does consultation as a certified forensic mental health and child custody evaluator and Florida Circuit Court Family Mediation. In addition, she is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in Illinois. With more than 20 years of teaching experience and 25 years of clinical experience, Dr. Conley has a variety of interests including eating disorders, addictions, adult mental health, and graduate student training. Dr. Conley has published in peer-reviewed journals and taught college in both the US and the Caribbean. Dr. Conley also serves on the Northeast Florida Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Anisha Cooper, MEd, NCC, LPC, EAS-C, CCTP, is the owner of Wishing Well Counseling & Consulting, a holistic trauma recovery practice that treats trauma as a spiritual injury in collaboration with other disciplines. She is a licensed professional counselor with a specific interest in helping gender and sexual minorities on their healing journeys. She’s also recognized as a certified clinical trauma professional and board-certified counselor. Anisha received her bachelor’s in biology, minor in chemistry, with a concentration in psychology as well as her master’s in counselor education and supervision from Georgia Southern University. She specializes in working with sexual trauma and relearning touch/intimacy recovery. Alongside these concerns, she has experience in providing training related to professional development for minority communities, and she provides workplace training for diversity and inclusion practices. At home, she often dances with her seven-year-old daughter, who reminds her makeup is not necessary, bellies are homes, and stretch marks make room for beautiful things. In her spare time, Anisha enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories, and playing board games with her family.



Goulda Downer, PhD, FAND, CNS, LN, RD, is an associate professor and program director in the College of Medicine at Howard University. Prior to her faculty appointment at Howard, Dr. Downer served as assistant clinical professor and director of Public Health Nutrition at Georgetown University Medical School; as the director of Medical Education for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; and as nutrition faculty in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University. A recognized expert in the field of nutrition and food security, Dr. Downer has served as food security and nutrition advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and as nutrition expert to the US Department of Justice, as well as the DC Superior Court. She received postdoctoral training at Georgetown University’s eating disorders clinic and has been licensed in Washington, DC, as a cognitive behavior therapist. 



Paula Edwards-Gayfield, MA, LCMHCS, LPC, CEDS, NCC, is the regional assistant vice president at The Renfrew Center, overseeing clinical and administrative operations at several locations. A licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Oklahoma and LPC supervisor in North Carolina, she received her master’s degree in counseling from UNC—Charlotte. Ms. Edwards-Gayfield has extensive experience working with adolescents, adults, and families, with a special interest in the treatment of eating disorders, and life adjustments. A nationally certified counselor, she is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Oklahoma Counseling Association, the Oklahoma Eating Disorder Association, and is certified with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iadep™). Ms. Edwards-Gayfield is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences with a primary focus on eating disorders and diversity. 



Rashida Gray, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist in Richmond, Virginia. She has practiced for nearly 20 years. Dr. Gray treats a wide variety of psychiatric conditions, from anxiety to schizophrenia. Dr. Gray believes in the power of utilizing a range of therapeutic modalities in addition to medications in order to provide optimal mental health for her patients. She is a proud graduate of Xavier University—the number one producer of African-American physicians—and the Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gray is a strong advocate for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and serves on the Greater Richmond board of directors of SCAN (stop child abuse now). She is also a member of Sisterfund, an African-American women’s giving circle. 



Abigail Harrison, MBBS, DM Paed, is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and consultant pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist in the Department of Child Health at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). She is the founder and director of the Teen and Young Families clinics at UHWI. Her research interests include adolescent health screening and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents. She is a member of the Paediatric Association of Jamaica (PAJ) and a member of several organizations that take a special interest in the physical and mental health of adolescents, including the Society of Adolescent Health Medicine(SAHM) and the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH), where she currently holds a position on the Executive Committee. As the first adolescent medicine-trained physician in Jamaica, she has as one of her goals the continued improvement of adolescent health care in Jamaica and the Caribbean, to be achieved through national and regional collaborative efforts.

Caryl James Bateman, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and eating disorder specialist in Jamaica. She is also a senior lecturer and the psychology unit coordinator at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She has a passion for helping people, particularly people of the Caribbean. Through her research and her work with patients, she has recognized that culture plays a significant role in the way in which individuals seek and receive treatment. Within the Caribbean context, she has done research in areas such as eating disorders, body image, sleep, the lived experiences of psychiatric patients, traditional medicine, sexuality, depression, and trauma. She is an advocate for raising eating disorder awareness in the Caribbean and, as such, pioneered the first international conference in the Caribbean: Dying to be Beautiful: Body Image, Eating Behaviours, and Health in the Caribbean. She works diligently with eating disorder sufferers and family members. In the international community, Caryl actively informs about the Caribbean culture and its impact on the presentation and treatment of eating disorders. 



Eulena Jonsson, PhD, hails from Barbados and is the associate director of Assessment in Campus Life at Duke University. A main facet of this role involves supporting the strategic and assessment processes and professional development of the array of departments housed under the umbrella of Duke’s Campus Life. These include Duke’s identity and cultural centers as well as student-facing University Campus Activities & Events offices. Dr. Jonsson’s professional mission is to serve as an assessment distiller, connector, and guide; to provide direction and guide reflection around research and data needs and findings so that any recommendations made are targeted and actionable. Her expertise and leadership in higher education assessment are bolstered by passionate advocacy of thoughtful evidence-based decision making and a strong foundation of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Dr. Jonsson received PhD and MA degrees in social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BS degree in biology from Wake Forest University.



Warrenetta Crawford Mann, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist whose career was inspired by a passion for people, places, and politics. This passion is fueled by her early life growing up in a family of educators in Atlanta, Georgia. She found her love for these areas came together in an unlikely way at her alma mater, Vanderbilt University, when she discovered the field of psychology. It was there she decided to pursue graduate studies in psychology with a focus on the impact cultural contexts have on how people grow, develop, and interact with their environments. While completing her master’s degree at the University of Louisville and her doctoral degree at Spalding University, she worked with a wide range of diverse populations spanning age, income, educational, racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, and resource backgrounds. It was in this work that she became keenly aware of the juxtaposition of personal and institutional privilege and power. Throughout her time completing her doctoral work, she found herself focusing on both individual and organizational interventions aimed at strengthening multicultural competence and creating inclusive environments. Her understanding of the essence of the common human condition has been instrumental in creating her unique ability to help any individual or group to identify their core values, goals, and potentials for greater success. Dr. Mann has spent the last 15 years working in higher education as an instructor, advisor, counselor, and administrator. She came to the University of South Carolina in August of 2017 and currently serves as director of counseling and psychiatry in Student Health Services. She lives in Columbia with her husband, her teenage daughter, and their dog.



Dawn McMillian, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian with almost 18 years of experience providing individual and group nutrition counseling and diet instruction on many topic areas, including hypertension, heart disease, and weight management. Ms. McMillian works with diverse populations in both clinical and public health settings and has worked in various US regions including Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, and Georgia. In Maryland, she provided medical nutrition therapy to hospital patients and developed a nutrition curriculum for Harbor City High School and Paquin School for Expectant Teenage Mothers through partnership with Maryland General Hospital. Ms. McMillian also worked with Christiana Care, serving three school-based wellness centers in Newark, Delaware, providing students and staff with nutrition counseling regarding weight management and diet modification. In North Carolina, she provided nutrition education and counseling to pediatric, adolescent, and prenatal patients in both English and Spanish while working for Wake County Human Services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. McMillian worked as a public health nutrition consultant for the North Carolina Division of Public Health and is currently a member of the Emory Health Promotion & Wellness team specializing in nutrition counseling, group nutrition education, and health promotion for employees of Emory Healthcare and University. Ms. McMillian holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in biological sciences and the other in nutrition and dietetics, from the University of Delaware. She completed her dietetic internship/residency and obtained her master’s degree in clinical nutrition at the University of Memphis. 



Sasha Ottey, MHA, MT (ASCP), is a clinical and research microbiologist with a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science from Howard University and a master’s in Health administration from the University of Phoenix. She is the founder and executive director of PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association, in response to dissatisfaction with the availability of support resources for women with the condition. As executive director of PCOS Challenge, Ms. Ottey built a coalition of more than 70 major national and international health organizations. She led the first successful legislative advocacy effort in the US Congress to recognize the seriousness of PCOS, the need for further research, improved treatment and care options for a cure for PCOS, and to designate September as PCOS Awareness Month. Ms. Ottey also created the PCOS Awareness Symposium, which is the largest event globally dedicated to polycystic ovary syndrome. The Awareness Symposium has educated thousands of patients and health care professionals about PCOS since 2013. In 2018, she helped organize the first International Conference on PCOS in India for both patients and health care providers. Prior to founding the PCOS Challenge, Ms. Ottey was a contract research microbiologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 



Erica L. Payne, PhD, is a veteran educator with more than 23 years of combined career experience as a school psychologist, administrator, and entrepreneur. She is a three-time graduate of Gallaudet University, is fluent in American Sign Language, and enjoys advocating for D/deaf children and families. Currently, Dr. Payne serves as a school psychologist and social entrepreneur in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. She enjoys reading, traveling, and writing poetry and prose. 

Venecia Pearce-Dunbar, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, is a Jamaican, a research psychologist, and lecturer in psychology in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She's a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she received her BS in psychology and MSc in applied psychology. Venecia completed her doctoral studies at Brunel University London in the United Kingdom. Her research interests include bodyweight perceptions, perceptions of fluffy women, cultural differences in weight perception, body image, social media, eating disorders, and health-enhancing behaviors—specifically, physical activity. She's an advocate for healthy living at any size and reducing weight stigma. She currently teaches social psychology, interpersonal and group dynamics, research, and other related courses. She also supervises undergraduate and graduates research projects. She's an author and presents at several conferences locally and overseas. She is currently a member of iaedp™ international chapter in Jamaica.



Becky Thompson, PhD, is a scholar, poet, and senior yoga teacher who wrote A Hunger So Wide and So Deep, the first book on eating problems and recovery from a multiracial perspective. Her edited and authored books also include Teaching with Tenderness, Making Mirrors: Righting/Writing By and For Refugees, Survivors of the Yoga Mat: Stories for those healing trauma, and Zero is the Whole I Fall Into at Night. She has been a Rockefeller Fellow in African-American Studies at Princeton University and was awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association for University Women, the Ford Foundation, Political Research Associates, and Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Books on Human Rights. She is the chosen mother of two adult children and lives in Jamaica Plain in Boston. See also



Kena Watson, LPA, is a master’s-level psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. She provides therapy for young adults and young adult couples and has a passion for working with women of color, especially college and early-career professionals. Her specialties include body image and eating disorders among young people of color, anxiety, and coping with life transitions, particularly those affecting the Gen Z and Millennial demographic. She has four years of experience working at an eating disorder treatment facility, where she provided individual and family therapy as well as facilitated acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), body image, self-care, and media awareness groups for patients. In addition to therapy, Kena also hosts private therapeutic vision board events that are geared to help individuals and couples connect with their values as they plan their vision for the year. Kena is a co-owner and administrator of an eating disorder culinary consulting company Kalon Collective, LLC. At Kalon Collective, the mission is o provide support to those in eating disorder recovery with assistance with meal support, grocery shopping, basic cooking skills, fear food exposure, and restaurant meal support. 



Joyce Woodson, MBA, was born and raised in the Southeast quadrant of Washington, DC. Mrs. Woodson earned degrees in economics and business administration from the University of Maryland. During her employment with John Snow, Inc., a contracting firm for the US Agency of International Development (USAID) and the Department of Health and Population, her work took her to each region of Africa, including Madagascar. While there, she learned much about the politics of body image and the striking differences between those cultures and US cultures regarding body image and food and eating patterns. In her current position as program director of Enterprise Production Operations for the Nature Conservancy, part of her duties include serving as co-lead for the Diversity Equity and Inclusion African-American Affinity Group, where she promotes the use of nature for improved mental health. Mrs. Woodson is also a licensed minister and is co-coordinator of the Women’s Recovery Ministry. She has 30 years of experience with 12-step recovery programs and mentors women living and recovering from a variety of addictions, including food addictions. 

bottom of page