National Eating Disorders Association

5 People I'm Excited to Hear Speak at the 2015 NEDA Conference!

Kaitlyn Oberg

Editor's note: this post originally appeared on

In one month, many of the greatest activists and professionals will converge in San Diego at the annual NEDA Conference to discuss the state of eating disorder treatment, research, and advocacy. 

After working on my campus this past year to help make strides in the university’s awareness of eating disorders, I decided to make the journey to San Diego to expound upon my knowledge of advocacy and intervention techniques. One of the best parts about attending the conference is hearing the fabulous speakers!

Here are the five speakers I’m most excited to hear during the conference, and in whose segments I will definitely be sitting:

1. Danielle Bernat-Sabo, MA, PhD Candidate

Danielle’s session is “The Power of Connection”, which deals with social media and eating disorders. As a college student, if my eyes are open, I’m usually looking at some form of social media (of course, except for when I’m studying) and it’s easy to see that this type of constant attachment to social networking has had a negative impact on how we view our selves, our bodies, and each other. I’m most excited to hear how social media can be used in a positive light—to help further recovery as well as change our narrative on self-consciousness.

2. Jenni Schaefer, BS

Jenni Schaefer is arguably one of the most notable eating disorder authors of the current age, with her books Goodbye Ed, Hello Me; Almost Anorexic, and Life Without Ed all best-selling hits. Jenni’s background is one most young adult women can relate to today—trying to balance work and education while maintaining an air of effortless perfection. Not only are her written pieces works of art, but her speeches are also inspiring, motivating and perfect for the NEDA Conference.  As a co-speaker on the session “What is Support?” I’m excited to hear Jenni provide a clearer plan of help and encouragement for family members and loved ones who have someone in their life with an eating disorder.

3. Georgianna Elliott, MA, RD, LD

Attending as a campus advocate, Georgianna’s session, “College and Eating Disorders”, proves to be the most exciting! It is a privilege and an honor to hear more about how campuses across the country are dealing with support services, advocacy, and outreach. Being able to listen and learn from some of the greatest minds on the correlations between university and eating disorders (this including Proud2Bme’s own Chelsea Kronengold!) makes me the most eager to attend and soak up everything I can!

4. Pia Guerrero

As a nursing student, one basic thing we are taught is cultural competency. Respecting how other cultures might affect one's healing process is the first step in helping to treat your patient, be it from allowing family members to perform sacred rituals to teaching the family how to prepare traditional foods to conform to, say, a low sodium diet, so that the patient best follows the treatment plan. This often does not happen in mental health care, and the contexts of cultural expectations are often ignored when it comes to eating disorders. That said, Pia’s work on her website,, as well as in her day-to-day life, have done wonders to bring awareness to the rampant, but often hidden, marginalization in relation to eating disorders. Her session, “Marginalized Voices”, is an absolute must-attend for everyone, no matter if you’re attending as family or as a professional/healthcare provider.

5. Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Of course, I would be remiss to exclude one of this year’s keynote speakers! The mind behind the critically acclaimed film Miss Representation, Jennifer brings a fresh perspective to the world of body image. Her exposé on current cultural beauty standards hits one right in the gut when they watch it; the movie peels back layers and layers you never ever realized were there in the first place. To be able to hear her speak in person about these types of things, to be privy to her words and actions as she actively deconstructs what is happening within our media and to the youth of this country and the world, well…that’s a privilege I could certainly never give up.

If you’re interested in attending the annual NEDA Conference in San Diego, CA on October 1st-3rd, you can still register online here. Of course, not everyone has the means and privilege to attend the conference at full price, so by registering as a volunteer, you can help out a fantastic organization and receive a discounted admission.

I hope to “sea” you there! 

About the blogger: Kaitlyn is a nursing major attending Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, with hopes to one day be a Public Health or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In her free time, you can find her wandering through Center City, watching Bob's Burgers, or with her nose in a John Green novel.