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Meet MentorCONNECT's Founder, Directors & Advisors


Shannon Cutts Shannon Cutts - Founder

Board Director Emeritus

Shannon Cutts survived a fifteen-year battle with anorexia, bulimia, depression and anxiety. After recovering, she founded MentorCONNECT to offer others the gift of hope she received from her own mentors. Shannon is a popular college circuit speaker, freelance writer, and author of the definitive eating disorders mentoring text, Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back. She has recently released her second book, Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life, love, and healthy self-esteem - a must-read for pet parents who are also in recovery! 



Astrid Rodriguez

Executive Director

Astrid Rodriguez has been a member of MentorCONNECT since January of 2012, when she joined as a mentee level member. She attended weekly chats, and used the forums to support her recovery efforts. After over 10 years of working on her recovery, she can honestly say that she is completely recovered from her eating disordered behaviors, and can now focus on the underlying issues that led to her eating disorder. The "secret" that helped her was establishing relationships. Connections with people helped her to make positive choices and stay healthy. She is currently a middle school science teacher in Houston, TX. She loves to read and reached her goal of reading over 100 books during 2016. She also enjoys writing, drawing, cooking, being outside, and spending time with her husband, cats, and chinchilla. She is working on her masters degree in curriculum and instruction, and hopes to become an instructional coach. She would eventually like to get out of the classroom, and into more of a leadership role. She is looking forward to 2017, and all it has to bring for her health, career, and family.

Shannon DoyleShannon Doyle

Secretary / Director / New Member Coordinator

Shannon Doyle is a member of MentorCONNECT's leadership team. As the New Member Coordinator, Shannon helps to support new community members who are still working towards their recovery goals by welcoming them into the community. She also serves as the board secretary, as well as a director to the board. She struggled with EDNOS for over 9 years, until she sought out treatment, and has now been in strong recovery for 8 years. Shannon lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has a bachelors degree in sociology from Arizona State University. She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, her friends, and her family, going to concerts, volunteering and advocating for eating disorder awareness, and living life to its fullest potential.


Walter H. Kaye, M.D.Walter H. Kaye, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and Director of the Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Program. Before joining UCSD, Dr. Kaye spent 7 years as a Fellow at the National Institute of Health and 20 years at the University of Pittsburgh. His current research is focused on exploring the relationship between brain and behavior using brain imaging and investigating new treatments in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. He is also the principal investigator for an international, multi-site collaboration on the genetics of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Dr. Kaye has an international reputation in the field of eating disorders and is the author of more than 300 articles and publications. To learn more about Dr. Kaye and his research, visit him at USCD online:

Thom RutledgeThom Rutledge is a psychotherapist, speaker and trainer who specializes in treating eating disorders, addictions, and debilitating perfectionism. He is the author of Embracing Fear: How to Turn What Scares Us into Our Greatest Gift, and is best know in eating disorder recovery circles for his innovative application of his INTRApersonal TherapyTM model to eating disorders, as described in Jenni Schaefer's best selling book, Life Without Ed.

Marisol Perez is a clinical psychologist and researcher who specializes in eating disorders, obesity, and generalized eating problems. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on eating disorders, depression and anxiety. She has dedicated her career to the treatment, prevention, and support of individuals suffering from eating disorders and their families. She also regularly provides opportunities for those recovered from eating disorders to join her research team and guide future research.

Chevese Turner is the founder and CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) and a recovering binge eater. She authors a blog called the BEDAdvocate and is a frequent voice on Capitol Hill on behalf of BED sufferers and their families. BEDA is the national multidisciplinary provider and patient organization focusing on the unmet need for preventing, diagnosing, and treating binge eating disorder. “By telling my story, I hope I can help those struggling with binge eating to recognize the disorder in themselves and seek help,” Chevese says. For more information visit