A Veritable School of Chocolate Fish

It’s Order of the Chocolate Fish time, and NEDAW 2013 is giving me the opportunity to bestow a veritable school of chocolate fish this year. For the first time, some of the recipients are groups rather than individuals. NEDAW 2013 was a resounding success. We raised awareness, raised spirits, and raised money for eating disorders.

My first OCF goes to Joseph Nontanovan (@jnontanovan http://venusboyfoodography.wordpress.com/about/) who describes himself as a Human, Dancer, Traveler, and Eternalist, and who we honor with the OCF for spending NEDAW at UNC. Joseph taught a hip hop master class, judged Greek Groove, and helped us to spread awareness about eating disorders. In a moment after Greek Groove, Joseph explained why supporting eating disorders awareness was important to him. He recalled that when he started college, he didn’t “know who he was,” and he couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to go through that transition and be struggling with an eating disorder. During his class, he shared with us how important it is to him to express emotions through dance, recalling a memorial service for a friend when the only way he could truly express his sadness was through dance. Joseph is inducted into the OCF for sharing his dance and his philosophy with us and just for being a soulful human. The planet is a better place with Joseph on it.

My second OCF goes to Christine Peat, post-doctoral fellow at UNC. Everyone needs to know that the UNC Eating Disorders team put enormous effort into planning NEDAW this year. Many of them (Cristin Runfola, Sara Hofmeier, and Lauren Janson) have already been inducted. Christine Peat gets the unsung hero OCF. She is always there, be it helping Embody with their curriculum, teaching Psych 395 students, mentoring English students, and advocating, advocating, advocating. Christine is inducted into the OCF for her dedication to students and her advocacy efforts.

My third OCF goes to Embody Carolina (@EmbodyCarolina http://www.facebook.com/UncEmbody). Officially, Embody Carolina is a new campus initiative that aims to educate students about identifying and supporting someone struggling with an eating disorder. Unofficially, Embody Carolina is a group of highly passionate and dedicated students who have gone far beyond the call of duty to create a safe environment for people with eating disorders to seek support and guidance. Colleen Daly, Cora Wilen, Savannah King, and Ben Barge are four highly effective and passionate individuals who have devoted themselves to developing this curriculum and training others. Embody Carolina is inducted into the OCF for making a difference at UNC.

My fourth OCF goes to the UNC Panhellenic Council (@UNCPanHel http://www.uncpanhellenic.com). The UNC Panhellenic Council has partnered with the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders in spreading the word about eating disorders and more generally developing programming to educate women about health issues in our community. President Rachel Brown and VP of Special Events McKay Jordan worked closely with us this year to integrate Greek Groove 2013 into NEDAW 2013. Every year Greek Groove gets more and more professional. As a judge, I ask myself, “Is this event really organized by undergraduates?” These women are professional enough to take over the world, and I hope they do! The UNC Panhellenic Council is inducted into the OCF for their ongoing partnership with the UNC CEED, for their dedication to women’s health, and for caring deeply about the health and wellbeing of their members.

Stay tuned inductees, your fish are on the way!