British Columbia, Canada
Janine Scheffler obtained a BSc in Food, Nutrition, and Health at the University of British Columbia, where she focused on psychology, nutrition, adult learning, and social determinants of health. After recovering from her own struggle with food, she completed various continuing education courses in intuitive eating, body positivity, and embodiment techniques for disordered eating. Janine has facilitated food literacy classes for students and is now teaching body image workshops to all ages. In her coaching practice, she integrates her education to help people learn how to eat based on individual body cues, create self-care practices, and find balance in all aspects of health. She is excited to fulfill her passion for teaching a weight-inclusive approach and spread body confidence across Canadian schools.
Marci Soran is the President of Colibri Education and was the Executive Director of EDIN, an Atlanta based non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of eating disorders . As a mom who has seen the impact that high school sports has on body image, as well as the impact of social media on today’s youth, she is honored to extend her experience to the community as a Be Real Ambassador.
Emma is currently a senior at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO. She plans to study neuroscience and mathematics at CU Boulder this fall. She’s worked with BE REAL for a year now, teaching the BodyKind curriculum to over 300 freshmen and has given the Body Confident Schools workshop to staff at a couple schools now. Emma is passionate about bringing eating disorder prevention to the forefront of healthcare, and is dedicated to lessening appearance pressures in society. Her hopes to eventually go to medical school for psychiatry and specialize with kids undergoing eating disorder treatment.
A graduate of University of Miami’s College of Engineering, Abbey Griffith owns Clarity Fitness – Georgia’s first body positive, weight inclusive, eating disorder informed fitness studio. She is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Body Positive and Be Real Ambassador, and Eating Disorder Recoveree who has devoted her life to helping people of all ages, shapes, and sizes find movement they truly enjoy. Abbey sees the dangers that come from obsession in fitness and nourishment, and believes that it’s time for us to see our bodies in a positive and empowered way – regardless of the number on the scale.
Dianne Gorski is currently the Senior Wellness Coordinator for Georgia Power and has been in her role for 9 years. Prior to coming to Georgia Power in 2014, Dianne was a Health Coach and Account Manager for Corporate Health Partners in Kennesaw, GA.
Dianne has 25+ years of experience in the wellbeing industry. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with experience in clinical-based nutrition therapy, including serving as the Director of Nutrition at Life Care Center of Gwinnett and Clinical Nutrition Manager for Cartersville Medical Center.
Dianne has several years of experience in the corporate fitness industry, including serving as the Program Manager for Lockheed Martin’s Employee Fitness Center upon moving to Georgia in 1996.
Dianne has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University. She is certified in Adult, Adolescent and Children’s Weight Management by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and has completed training through the Johnson and Johnson Human Performance Institute in Corporate Athlete Performance and Resilience.
Eileen Shaw, LPC, RDN, CEDRD, NCC
Eileen Shaw is a Licensed Registered Dietitian and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Eileen is cerified as an Eating Disorder Specialist. She has previously worked at the Partial (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) levels of care at the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders and Walden Behavioral Care. She also maintains a private practice and is the owner of Eating Solutions LLC. providing medical nutrition therapy at the oupatient level of care for all types of eating disorders, general nutrition and wellness. Specialities include Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder (BED), ARFID, Family Based Treatment, and other types of disordered eating patterns, body dysmorphia, and mood disorders. Eileen teaches nutrition and culinary skills at Atlanta Newport Academy, a center for adolescents and families struggling with mental health issues, trauma, dual diagnoses, and substance abuse.
As a nutrition therapist, Eileen combines theraputic and integrative approaches such as DBT, CBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness & Intuitive Eating. Her style is very compassionate, collaborative, caring and healing.
Eileen is affiliated with the Commission on Dietetics, Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and Atlanta Chapter, the Academy of Eating Disorders and National Certified Counselors.
Had it not been for her nutrition counseling expertise and practice, she probably would have become a chef, a favorite pastime.
Linda P. Buchanan, Ph.D.
Dr. Linda Buchanan founded Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders in 1993 which was acquired by Walden Behavioral Care in 2017. In 1983, Dr. Buchanan received her master’s degree from Georgia State University and a Diploma from the Psychological Studies Institute (now known as Richmont University) in Christian Counseling. Dr. Buchanan then went on to receive her Ph.D. in 1993. In 2019, she published A Clinician’s Guide to Pathological Ambivalence, the content of which she has presented at local, national and international conferences. She has also self-published three workbooks (one serves as a client companion to the Clinician’s Guide). Additionally, she has published two research articles on the treatment of eating disorders, two outcome studies of the treatment provided at Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders and two book chapters. Dr. Buchanan has served as a peer reviewer of American Psychological Association (APA) Journals and writes a blog called From One Therapist to Another, writing about her experience gained in over 35 years of clinical practice. She serves as president of the board of EDIN; an Atlanta based non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of eating disorders and received the 2023 Georgia Psychological Association Service award in part for this work. She has been married for over 35 years and is the mother of two adopted sons.
Stephanie Word, LMSW
Stephanie is a school counselor and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. After starting her career in education, she went back to school to pursue her interests in social work and mental health. After teaching, she moved into a counseling role and now works for an independent school in Atlanta supporting the mental and emotional health of high school students. Stephanie is passionate about educating the faculty, parents, and students she works with about body image, diet culture, and disordered eating. She hopes that by sharing the BE REAL curriculum with her students they will experience higher levels of body satisfaction and develop a more inclusive idea of health that allows them to be kinder and more accepting of both themselves and others.
Cathy Meinecke MAHHS, BSN, RN
Cathy is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Registered Nurse. She has worked as a Registered Nurse in Family Medicine Care Coordination/Telephone Triage, and Behavioral Health Outpatient medicine with Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Clinic for over 15 years. She is currently working as a High School Nurse in NE Iowa. Where she works with the adolescent population and helps them with issues they are facing. She recently graduated with her Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies from Saint Catherine’s University which added a new dimension to her practice. During her studies at Saint Catherine University, she was privileged to be involved in researching Care that Touches Spirit and from that understands firsthand how much self-compassion from both self and others plays into wellness and self-image. She believes that part of the need comes with the need to change our relationships with our bodies as the BE REAL Program is trying to do.
As a Holistic Practitioner, she started Emerging Holistic Wellness, where she offers support to clients bringing expanded knowledge of wellness and healing to bring balance and harmony to their lives. She combines her knowledge of alternative and traditional western medicine, found the best of both worlds, and has integrated them into practice.
She is excited to be a BE REAL Ambassador because both in her personal life and her professional life, she has seen the effects of our culture’s problems with body image and diet culture firsthand, especially during her time as a school nurse. She feels that this is an amazing program to help promote body confidence and self-compassion. She has found that it compliments the wellness curriculum taught during her Master’s Studies and is a wonderful way to promote Whole person wellness.
Quad Cities, IA
Diane Hudson, MSEd, is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), Certified Yoga Teacher, and a BE REAL Ambassador. She has completed iaedp’s (International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals) core curriculum and is working towards her iaedp Educational Designation. Diane is the owner of New Moon Wellness QC Counseling Services, supporting clients across the state of Iowa.
Diane attended Western Illinois University where she graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, 2010 with her Master of Science degree in Educational Studies, and 2019 with her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her professional and volunteer experience includes working with the American Red Cross, substance use treatment, acute psychiatric care, member of the Quad Cities Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and Amy’s Gift (QC Eating Disorder Consortium) advisory committee member. She has been presenting at local and regional conferences on the topic of using yoga and mindfulness as a tool for supporting emotional health since 2010.
“When we reclaim a safe connection of our mind and body, we provide ourselves an opportunity to truly heal. As BE REAL ambassadors we are able to encourage this connection with our youth and those who support them in their daily lives at school.” – Diane Hudson
Cedar Rapids, IA
Stephanie is a Registered Dietitian and nutrition therapist. After graduating from Bradley University with a degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics and minors in Psychology and Health, she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. After a long clinical career specializing in nutrition support for GI disorders, she felt a call to pursue another passion. Having experienced how diet culture negatively impacted her and others around her and having been on her own journey to food freedom, she began her private practice in 2021.
As the owner of Proud Peaceful Nutrition, she uses the principles of Intuitive Eating to help others make peace with food, exercise and their bodies and approach their health from a place of self respect and autonomy. She also provides eating disorder care and support and is working toward her CEDS designation.
Fun fact, Stephanie also works in a high school health office while building her nutrition practice and her husband is a school administrator. This is where her worlds collided and she realized the need for educating school staff, students and parents on body image and diet culture. She is thrilled to partner with BE REAL USA as an ambassador!
Leticia plans on double majoring in Sociology and Gender and Sexuality studies at The University of Chicago. She is passionate about the work of nonprofits and hopes to dedicate her career towards improving the lives of others. Because of these goals, BE REAL’s mission resonates with Leticia and she is excited to see how BE REAL has, and will continue to, improve the lives of others.
Marlena Urbain, LSW
East Moline, IL
My name is Marlena Urbain and I am currently in my 18th year as a school social worker. I worked for 10 years at Black Hawk Area Special Education in East Moline, IL, and have been with the Moline-Coal Valley for the past 8 years. I spend 90% of my work week at the middle school level. While I primarily work with students who receive special education services, I work closely with our school counselors who support the general education population. I also incorporate the services of Cooper, my mini Goldendoodle, who is a certified therapy dog. He joins me at work 3 days a week. I’m so excited to receive the training to become a BE REAL Ambassador to help support students and staff within my building.
Stephanie Burrough, BE REAL Ambassador Program Coordinator
Quad Cities, IL
For the past 13 years Stephanie has acted as Project Coordinator for Amy’s Gift, a Quad Cities Eating Disorders Consortium, whose mission is “to promote the hope, help and healing for those with eating disorders in the Quad Cities community”. In this work she connects her community with local and national resources for eating disorders treatment as well as coordinates trainings for eating disorders assessment, treatment and prevention.
In addition, she is a Community Relations Specialist at the Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, where she acts as an advocate and organizer for various programs and trainings events relating to mental health. She is also a teacher with the Trauma Supports Yoga Team with Challenge to Change.
Stephanie is passionate about sharing the BE REAL materials with others, especially adolescents, so that we can all begin creating a narrative around mental health, self-care and body image that is supportive and sustaining for ALL. With additional work experience as a children’s theatre teacher, Stephanie’s diverse personal and professional knowledge have brought her here today to be a part of the BE REAL Ambassador team!
Verenice is studying chemistry at the University of Chicago. She is excited to navigate her way through school districts and create BE REAL communities across the entire country. Verenice hopes that her role will lead to more children and women feeling confident and beautiful in their bodies.
Dr. Ciara Mahon is a postdoctoral body image researcher in the Youth Mental Health lab, University College Dublin, Ireland. Ciara’s research focuses on body image, self-compassion and mental health in young people. Ciara has been centrally involved in the development and evaluation of BE REAL’s BodyKind High School Curriculum. She has co-led research evaluations of BodyKind in the USA and is currently evaluating the curriculum in Ireland in conjunction with Jigsaw, The National Centre of Youth Mental Health, Ireland. She has gained experience in conducting schools-based intervention research and large-scale data analysis from her previous research roles which involved analysing data from >20,000 young people in the largest survey of youth mental health in Ireland (MyWorldSurvey2) and her PhD research at Trinity College Dublin which involved trialling self-compassion body image interventions in schools
Dr. Luciana Zuest is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Towson University. She is a teacher educator and certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. With over 20 years of pedagogy experience, Dr. Zuest teaches courses focused on curriculum and instruction in health and physical education. Grounded in a socio-critical perspective, Dr. Zuest uses a range of methodologies to study weight stigma in order to create more inclusive climates within health and physical activity settings. She currently serves as a member of the SHAPE America Board of Directors and is the 31st Delphine Henna Lecturer with the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education.
Selena Salfen, MPH, RD, MFA
Ramsey County, Minnesota
Selena Salfen is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Master of Public Health Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. She works for Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) to promote policy, systems and environmental change to support well-being, access to nutritious foods, physical activity and commercial tobacco-free living in Minnesota. She recognizes the harm public health’s misguided “war on ob*sity” has done and strives to reduce fatphobia through her weight inclusive work in public health clinics, schools and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC).
Chapel Hill, NC
Ally is a rising senior studying nutrition and psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She hopes to one day work as a Registered Dietitian for people with eating disorders. She has learned through school and personal experience the importance of self-love for overall health. She is thrilled to have the opportunity at BE REAL to share this message with students of all backgrounds.
Sarah Burby received her Masters in Applied Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Rider University in 2013. She is the Owner of Small Changes Health and Wellness Coaching, LLC where she utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to support and empower clients to meet their health and wellness goals. Sarah’s practice focuses on guiding clients in making small, sustainable changes they can maintain for the rest of their lives. Sarah also created a K-5 curriculum titled, “Confidently Me!,” which aims to proactively address topics such as body image, self-esteem, mindfulness, confidence, body functionality, media literacy, stress management, and more based on current literature and evidence based-treatment.
Sarah is Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Certified K-5 teacher in the state of New Jersey, a National Board Certified Health Coach and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Certified Barre instructor, and has completed the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Program. Sarah also has extensive training in maternal mental health.
Sarah’s areas of expertise include Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size approach, Motivational Interviewing, The Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change), and Behavior Skills Training. Sarah’s clinical interests include helping clients heal their relationship with food and exercise as well as improve their body image by increasing their psychological flexibility. Sarah has extensive experience implementing The Health Related ACT Matrix as well as The Choice Point with clients who suffer from disordered eating and/or exercise patterns.
In addition, Sarah offers several continuing education events, mentorship, and supervision for those looking to disseminate the science of applied behavior analysis into health and wellness, specifically intuitive eating.
Sarah lives in NJ with her husband, 1 year old son Parker, and two cats. She loves the being in nature, baking, and watching HGTV.
Amelia Sherry, MPH, RD, CDCES
Amelia is a registered dietitian (RD) who practices using a non-diet, weight-inclusive approach. She’s also the founder of NourishHer.com, an online space dedicated to helping parents understand positive ways to parent around food and body issues and the author of Diet-Proof Your Daughter: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Girls Who Have Positive Relationships with Food & Body.
Prior to founding NourishHer, Amelia worked in the department of pediatric endocrinology at Mount Sinai Medical Center where she provided nutrition therapy to hundreds of families struggling with issues related to diabetes and growth.
Amelia is passionate about bringing BE REAL curriculum to teachers, social workers, coaches, and other educators who play pivotal roles in adolescent lives!
She lives in a suburb of New York City with her husband and daughters.
Dr. Charlotte Markey is a Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Health Sciences Department at Rutgers University (New Jersey, U.S.). She has been studying body image for over 25 years and has written over one-hundred journal articles and scholarly book chapters about body image and related issues. She’s also the author of The Body Image Book series (www.TheBodyImageBookforGirls.com and www.TheBodyImageBookforBoys.com). She is thrilled to partner with Be Real to help young people develop positive body images and loves to talk with teens and their parents about body image.
Gabriella Giachin received her masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and has a special interest in women’s mental health, body image and social media, and adolescent development, especially in relation to food, diet and body-confidence. While working with BE REAL, Gabriella also practices as a therapist with Forward in Heels, a private therapy practice based in NYC. Before joining the BE REAL team, she worked with ANAD, a nonprofit focused on eating disorder work, where she ran support groups for individuals of all ages struggling with eating disorders. Prior to earning her masters degree Gabriella worked in event planning and marketing, where she honed her skills prior to switching career direction. Gabriella is passionate about bringing awareness to the crisis of body-dissatisfaction seen in todays adolescents, and is working to help BE REAL raise funds to distribute our BodyKind Curriculum.
Jeff Ash is a certified nutritionist, personal trainer, Intuitive Eating coach, and host of the Men’s Intuition Podcast where he seeks to educate and encourage those on their own Intuitive Eating journeys. His passion lies in helping individuals and families transform their relationships with food, exercise, and their bodies all without restriction, guilt, or shame.
Jeff has a special interest in working with men and boys in the area of body image and relationship with food and has developed a self-paced Intuitive Eating course and men’s support community called, “Equipped to Thrive.”
Jimmie Johnson serves as an Extension Educator with the University of MN Extension’s Center for Family, Health, and Wellbeing, focusing on community- based physical activity and exercise promotion. Jimmie’s role as an Extension Educator is to learn and work alongside communities in creating and delivering Extension’s high quality educational programs resources, and best practices that are rooted in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Jimmie feels privileged and excited to partner with BE REAL as an Ambassador to assist in spreading the positive messages of self-compassion and self-care with high school health and physical education teachers, coaches, counselors, parents, and administrators.
Jimmie holds a B.S. in Community Health from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Education from the University of MN Duluth. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a NETA (National Exercise Trainers Association) Certified Personal Trainer and holds additional certifications in CrossFit, Pilates, Yoga and Kettlebell Training.
The Ambassador Program
BE REAL Ambassadors are trained to give professional development workshops and presentations to educators using BE REAL’s resources. If you would like to become a BE REAL Ambassador we would love to have you join us! Just follow the process below.
$250 donation to BE REAL (needs-based options available)
View 170-minute training video
Take 20-question test. When you get a 90% on test, we will contact you with links to these constantly updated materials:
- Body Confident Schools: 60-minute presentation with “talk track” in speaker’s notes
- Body Confident Schools: Half-Day Professional Development Presentation with “talk track” in speaker’s notes
- Body Confident Kids: 60-minute parent presentation for parent nights with “talk track” in the speaker’s notes
- Body Confident Schools Agenda for participants, editable in Canva
- Branded letter to give to schools for presentations, editable in Canva
- Body Confident Schools Advertisement Flyers, editable in Canva
- Branded invoice for Body Confident Schools presentation, editable in Canva
- Parent Night Letter template, editable in Canva
- Participant Postcards, highlights of slides, printable from Canva
BE REAL Ambassador certificate
Ambassador Training Request Form
Please fill out the form below to request training. We will be in touch with you in the next few days to start the process.