Monday, March 18, 2024

Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) Advocacy Day - Malinda Ann Hill Will Share Her Story on Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Malinda Ann Hill will join the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) in Washington, D.C. for Advocacy Day 2024. We encourage others to join us, too!

This year, we will be advocating for the following initiatives:

Nutrition CARE Act (H.R.1331/S.754): The legislation will require Medicare Part B to provide coverage for medical nutrition therapy for eating disorders.

Kids Online Safety Act (S.1409): The legislation will provide kids and parents with the safeguards, tools, and transparency they need to protect against threats to children and teens' health and wellbeing online.

Three partial scholarships will be available to assist with travel and lodging costs. Apply: Application closes Monday, March 18, 2024.


Wednesday, May 1st
6 PM to 7 PM EST
Advocacy 101 Training (virtual). This is an optional training for first time advocates and/or advocates who would like a refresher on in person advocacy days.

Wednesday, May 8th
8:30 AM to 9:00 AM EST
Advocacy Day Check In & Breakfast
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Message Training & Team Practice
11:00 AM to 3:30 PM EST
Congressional Meetings (a 45-minute lunch break will be scheduled into your day)
4 PM to 5 PM EST
Wrap Up Session

Information for travel, hotel recommendations, for getting around Washington, D.C., and tips for packing can be found in our resource guide here.

PLEASE NOTE: Registering for EDC's Advocacy Day to meet with your legislators is a serious commitment. A great deal of work goes into scheduling the appointments. Please only register if you know you can commit your full day on May 8th.

Register here:

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Humane Rejection Letters: Be Kind, Be Personal

Humane Rejection Letters: Be Kind, Be Personal
By Leah Connor on 4/26/2022

I think I’ve applied for at least 500 jobs (more than half of those via LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature which makes it super quick and simple).

Although I don’t keep a record of every single job application, I do have an extensive spreadsheet with data on all of my interviews, including the rejection letters.

Since I’ve turned 50, I’ve had conversations with over 50 companies and the vast majority have sent me generic and impersonal rejection letters, often only after I followed-up asking for an update.

The more templated form letters I receive after interviews, the more I find this to be completely unacceptable and unnecessarily demoralizing.

I’m not a HR expert, but I’m a human being and I know that I share a lot about myself and my experiences in every interview. It would mean so much to me if I would receive a message referencing something positive and unique about our interaction rather than an impersonal template letter.

I strongly believe that if you meet with someone for an hour, especially if it’s more than once, there’s absolutely no excuse for a generic rejection.

I’ve actually received better rejection letters from companies that I never spoke with than I have from places I met on 2-3 separate occasions. In retrospect, I’m grateful that things didn’t work out with companies that aren’t kind in the interviewing process. It’s usually a sign of bigger human resources issues.

I believe the best systems for responding to applicants is to have an automatic email reply to all submissions that explains that they’ll only be contacted again if they are selected for an interview. It never feels good to get a rejection letter weeks or months later from a position. you never interviewed for and you almost forgot you applied.

For example:

Dear [first name],
    Thank you for your interest in career opportunities with [company]. We are pleased that you have considered our organization as a potential for your future career endeavors.
    Our team is currently reviewing your credentials for the [job title] opportunity and will contact you should there be an interest in discussing your qualifications further. Otherwise, your information will be kept on file for future consideration.
    Again, we appreciate your interest in [company]. We wish you much success in your job search.

After my most recent rejection, I searched for resources on rejection letters to find that there are plenty of professionals who agree with me on the importance of being personal in a letter to someone you’ve met for an interview.

​Here are some highlights:

For anyone with whom you’ve had a conversation (i.e., beyond an initial resume screen where you’ve had a first round phone screen), don’t use a generic letter from a job rejection letter template. This is one I feel very strongly about. If you’ve had more than a five minute conversation with someone, you should be able to specify briefly why the candidate hasn’t made it to the next round. By adding even one point referencing your conversation from the interview process, you’ll provide a basic rationale to your decision related to her own candidacy.

The deeper in the recruiting and hiring process someone goes, the more you “owe” them am actual specific rationale for your decision. Particularly, if someone’s had any amount of in person interviews, or even more so, have completed any type of assignment for you as part of the evaluation, there’s no excuse for not providing some level of personalization. The candidate took time to prepare, engage with you recruiters, travel to your office, possibly reschedule other commitments or obligations, etc. They’re receiving potentially bad news now; be respectful of her efforts and appreciative of her interests in your company.

Source: comeet

Offer some positive aspects about their qualifications or interview
To leave a good impression with the candidate, choose one or two qualities that you liked about them. Describing these positive aspects can also help them better understand the strengths that they can highlight more moving forward.


Personalise the rejection letter
Too often, generic templates are sent to unsuccessful candidates where they not only sound robotic, stiff and dishonest but display a negative and poor representation of the company and recruiter.
When sending rejection letters, personalise it by mentioning something positive you noted during the interview, and make sure their name is spelled correctly; attention to detail shows you made an effort. Of course, it’s understandable that recruiters may be dealing with 50 job openings at any given time and managing hundreds of candidates waiting for a response. But try and see it like this: your candidate could one day be your client, consumer or employer.

Source: Job Adder

The Effect of Different Rejection Letters on Applicants’ Reactions​
Organisations appear to pay little attention to rejection letters, considered a special form of organisational communication, despite a growing body of literature that shows they play an important role in terms of employer branding. This study aims to empirically test how applicants’ perceptions are affected by differently manipulated rejection letters. In detail, a sample of 138 rejected candidates filled in an ad hoc questionnaire on perceived selection procedure fairness and satisfaction, after receiving a rejection letter where we had manipulated time latency, the politeness formula and customisation. Results suggest that providing a timely, customised and informal notification is something agreeable, which is able to affect, above all, fairness perceptions and intention to re-apply. In detail, the time latency in giving feedback appears to affect the relationship between fairness perception and organisational recommendation and acts more as a mediator rather than an antecedent variable. Considering that providing feedback is a relatively low-cost activity that at the same time has a big impact on job applicants, our results show that organisations should be sensitive to negative feedback communication, especially in relation to response time, in order to support their employer branding.
Source: behavioral sciences

The candidate took time out of her week to prepare for your interview process, so if you were impressed by her during the interview, it could make a huge difference to let her know. Simply include one strength of hers you remembered from the interview process, like "Our team was particularly impressed with your writing skills."

To truly add value, however, you'll also want to include constructive feedback to help your candidate understand areas she can focus on improving. Take detailed notes during the interview, and when you reject your applicant, provide one or two areas of improvement. Your feedback could help her career success in the future.

Source: HubSpot

Be personal
Templates make things much more manageable and assure that you address everything that you need to in each rejection. Leave sections in your templates for personalization. Mention the candidate’s name in the opening and sign the message with your own. Take ownership over the rejection, rather than just hiding behind your company’s name. If you’ve spoken with them or they’ve gone through the process, mention something from your conversation if you can. Providing personal details helps the candidate feel like they are more than just a number to you and can soften the rejection blow.
Source: Nicereply.

Be kind 
Spending a little time reflecting on a candidate's experience can make the job seeker feel your decision is considered and fair. A rejection with no explanation can lead to confusion, frustration, and upset.
Source: Flowrite

Offer feedback
A lot of companies don’t give feedback as a policy to prevent themselves from possible lawsuits. However, a little goes a long way, and you don’t have to be incredibly specific to give the candidate something of value. However, if you want to go the extra mile, tell them why you chose someone else and why the were not a good fit for the role. Good candidates will appreciate the opportunity to better themselves professionally. Plus, reading an “it’s not you, it’s us” type rejection letter can help soothe the ego hit of getting rejection after rejection. You never know, it could be the very thing that pushes them in a totally new career direction!
​Source: toggl

How Soon Is Now?: Promises and Accountability in Life and the Job Hunt

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Life as a twin rewarding, despite the occasional confusion

Malinda Ann Hill
is writing an updated version of Leah Connor's "Life as a twin rewarding, despite the occasional confusion" and the working title is "Real Runners of Charlottesville"

Life as a twin rewarding, despite the occasional confusion
Leah Hill
October 24, 1991
My Opinion
Daily Collegian 

As the weeks go by, more people are beginning to recognize me from my columns. Unfortunately, I haven't actually talked to all of these people because some of them have recognized my twin sister -- not me.

So, I decided to let everyone know that there is a person out there who resembles me. To be honest, it is more like a warning --I don't think I can be responsible for the actions of my twin sister, Mindy. She might not be so nice, friendly and understanding to the next person who calls her Leah.

But who could blame her? Wouldn't you begin to get a little upset and/or have an identity crisis if people who even had classes with you don't remember you as Mindy, but instead ask, "Hey, don't you write for the Collegian?"

Personally, I enjoy being a twin. It's usually the first thing I tell people about myself. I figure it is a good conversation starter. If my twin isn't there by my side when I first meet someone, most people ask if we are identical. Here is where I sort of get stuck.

There's this genetic thing that I'm not quite sure about so I end up sounding like a complete idiot.

"Well, most people think we look alike but, to tell you the truth, I'm not quite sure if the egg split or if there were, in fact, two eggs. I'll have to get back to you on that one."

As it is common for those children who aren't the first born, Mindy and I have considerably fewer baby pictures than my older sister Heather. The excuse my parents gave me for this lack of a pictoral history is that they were too busy trying to keep both of us fed and dry. They didn't always have the time to capture the moment with Kodak.

Yeah, sure. It wouldn't be so bad if the few photos we do have weren't, well, how should I put this, somewhat ambiguous. The problem is we aren't actually sure who is who. It's always fun having my friends try to guess which baby or toddler is me. However, they are a little disappointed when they expect a definite answer and I regretfully inform them that their guess is as good as mine.

But, I shouldn't be so hard on my parents. Mindy and I have had the same problem. Last month, we were looking through some recent pictures and Mindy said, "That's a really good picture of you." At first I agreed with her, but a minute or two later (after realizing that I had never worn that outfit) I said, "Hey Mindy, that's not me, it's YOU!" It was a scary moment.

People often ask if we ever dressed alike. When we were little all of our relatives would give us identical outfits. It was always a thrill when we got matching outfits in different colors and had to fight over who got which color. However, as we got older we realized that we would have twice the wardrobe potential if we had different clothes. I must stress the word potential because it's not always feasible to borrow a sweater from your sister when you are having an argument.

Finally, most people want to know if I like being a twin. For the most part, it's great. But, this mistaken identity thing, although it is amusing, can get on my nerves. Sometimes it's not worth trying to explain to someone that I am not who they think I am. I just smile and go on my merry way. Other times people will go on talking to me without giving me the chance to say, "Hey, wait a minute, I am NOT Mindy, leave me alone."

My freshman year at Pitt I lived with six people and I didn't have the chance to let them all know about Mindy. So for the first few weeks I got the reputation of being unfriendly because I (in reality, Mindy) didn't say hello to them on the street. Therefore, I have been conditioned to say "hi" to people I don't even know just because I don't want them to think that my sister is rude.

The most memorable experience of mistaken identity here at Penn State was during the summer at Ritenour. Mindy and I ended up being there at the same time. Mistake.

The nurse kindly showed me to the doctor's office. As I nervously sat there I heard all sorts of commotion outside. Then, the nurse came back and said, "Didn't I tell you to go to the room across the hall?" I said no.

And then it hit me, she doesn't know who I am. After about fifteen minutes and a mini-conference among the nurse, doctor and a few other people, we got the whole thing straightened out. Ever since then, Mindy and I make sure to schedule appointments on different days.

Despite the occasional identity crisis and having to share a birthday, I never regret being a twin. Although even if I did, there really isn't anything I could do about it.

Not all twins get along, but Mindy is my best friend. She really understands me and not just because in the eyes of some people she has actually been me. We have a special connection. Therefore, in the hope of keeping my sister's sanity in check (not to mention for other people's safety) I'll give you some tips on telling us apart.

If you see "me" carrying an art portfolio, it's Mindy. She's the artist. If you see me in the computer lab, feel free to say "hi" and compliment me on my column. If you see "me" working in The Gap, it's really Mindy. If I'm working in the HUB Eateries, again feel free to say "hi."

If, despite these guidelines, you still happen to say "Hi Leah, I like your column," to my sister and she lets you have it, please don't let that stop you from reading my next column.

Leah Hill is a junior majoring in women's studies and a Thursday columnist for The Daily Collegian.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

TWINS RUN 2022 Chicago Marathon with Team Lemon in Memory of Michael and GG

Michael, Leah Connor’s Irish brother-in-law, died from relapsed childhood leukemia on St. Patrick’s Day 2003. Ten years ago, Leah and Malinda joined Team Lemon so we could run our first Bank of America Chicago Marathon together in his memory to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Over the years, we’ve continued to run together (Boston Marathon, runDisney, Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Charlottesville Women's Four Miler) and solo (Twins Run 50K, Philadelphia Marathon, Blue Cross Broad Street Run, Charlottesville Track Club, Charlottesville Speedsters, Charlottesville Ten Miler, Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon, The San Francisco Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon) to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.

As of today, we’ve raised over $7,000 in memory of Michael and our Irish grandmother, Aileen, affectionately known as GG, who died suddenly from cancer on July 16, 2012.

We’re grateful for your support and generous donations over the past 10 years.

If you can, please consider donating $10 to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation..

Thank you.


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Residential Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa by Malinda Ann Hill

Medicaid approved a single case agreement for residential treatment for at least 2 weeks and I will be admitted on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to receive the help I need to recover from anorexia nervosa, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you so very much for your support.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Struggling Greatly with Anorexia Nervosa by Malinda Ann Hill

I am so very grateful for the generous donations, kind words, and thoughtful actions I have received since I asked for help and entered treatment for anorexia nervosa, depression, anxiety and PTSD. The support from people who truly care has sustained me and offered me hope when I felt hopeless and worthless. 

It is difficult to admit that I am still struggling mentally, emotionally and physically - especially with anorexia nervosa. I am so sorry for the pain this insidious illness continues to cause my friends and family - especially my identical twin, Leah.

Leah offered me a couch to crash on in her basement when I lost my apartment, my job and my health insurance. Thank you, Leah, for your support when I needed it the most.

Posted by Leah on 6/21/21: 

“I wrote this poem in 1985 after having struggled with anorexia nervosa beginning at 11 years old. My twin is still actively battling this deadly disease. I love you, Malinda Ann Hill. ❤️”

Reality by Leah Ann Hill

"Why do you do this? Do this to our family? to yourself? Why don't you just eat? Just one bite. Please. Please, just one bite. I love you honey. Just eat. Please!"

There's no response,

The body stiffens

No feelings show through the gaunt,

lifeless face,

Having none means superiority.

But that's a lie,

You're scared, alone,

This urge, this obsession has taken over your life; has cut all ties from friends, family; has destroyed your life.

You are hungry, but not just for food,

You cry for attention, yearn for their approval,

They can't see it though, why can't they tell?

"If you eat this I'll get you anything, anything you want."

But you don't want anything (anything but your freedom, their love),

You've worked too hard for this,

You can't give it up, you won't.

They can't see it though, why can't they tell?

Why can't you?

Published in the National Anorexic Aid Society, Inc. Newsletter (April - June 1985)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) Virtual Advocacy Day on May 17, 2022 - Malinda Ann Hill Shares Her Story on Capitol Hill

Today is our 51st birthday and I am grateful I had the opportunity to attend Eating Disorders Coalition (@EDCoalition) Virtual Advocacy Day (#EDCHillDay) on Tuesday, May 17. I joined advocates from across the country who shared our experiences with eating disorders and asked Congress to support important legislation. Here is my story that I shared on Capitol Hill yesterday. For more information on how you can help, visit:

My name is Malinda Ann Hill and I recently moved to Charlottesville, VA after living in Philadelphia for over 20 years.

My identical twin was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when we were only 11 years old. Tomorrow, we turn 51. Forty years ago, eating disorders in children were extremely rare and education of health care providers was nonexistent. Our pediatrician ordered every test imaginable because he had no training on eating disorders and did not recognize that my twin’s drastic weight loss was intentional.  Fortunately, my twin recovered.

Unfortunately, my battle with anorexia nervosa began when we were 15 and my struggle continues today. Over the past 35 years, there were times when I was severely ill and unable to function. There were also times when I was able to manage my symptoms, allowing me to earn my masters’ degree in marital and family therapy with a specialization in art therapy, pursue a meaningful career as bereavement coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, raise my daughter on my own, and run marathons with my twin to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. 

Since I was unable to access the treatment I needed in my late teens and early twenties, I suffered the devastating mental and physical consequences as a result of surviving decades with an eating disorder. Shortly after the pandemic began in 2020, my eating disorder spiraled out of control. My mental and physical health rapidly declined to the point that I was unable to work and care for my daughter. I knew that I desperately needed help and I had to seek treatment as soon as possible. I feared the pandemic would trigger a mental health crisis and I was correct.

After taking 3 months of medical leave of absence from work to participate in a virtual partial hospitalization program, I had to return to work too soon because I could not afford to continue treatment even with health insurance. I did my best to manage my debilitating symptoms on my own but after several months my mental and physical  health rapidly deteriorated again so I was forced to take another medical leave of absence from work. Several months after returning to treatment, I was notified that the hospital could no longer hold my position while I was on medical leave so I lost my job of nearly 20 years. Subsequently, I lost my health insurance and access to the in-person partial hospitalization program I was attending because it wouldn’t accept Medicaid.

Over the past 6 months, it has been impossible to access the level of eating disorder treatment I need through Medicaid. I have been able to seek help through multiple medical providers because I have been suffering severe physical consequences as a result of my eating disorder. I am grateful to have a team of medical providers who are compassionate, knowledgeable and aware of the complex mental and physical consequences of eating disorders.

Last year, I shared my story for the first time during EDC Virtual Advocacy Day. Although it was difficult for me to admit how much I was struggling, I felt empowered and hopeful after joining other advocates. With all the obstacles I have encountered over the past year, there have been far too many days when I have lost all hope and fear that I will be one of too many who will continue to suffer or die as a result of an eating disorder. Even on my darkest days, I want to do all I can to help others who are at risk or suffering like me. I am grateful for every opportunity to share my story to raise awareness and support.

I believe legislation to support education, research, prevention and early intervention is crucial so children, teens and adults will not have to suffer for decades like I have or die as a result of their eating disorders like far too many have. Please co-sponsor and support the Anna Westin Legacy Act and the Kids Online Safety Act so all children and adults suffering or those at-risk for eating disorders have access to the care and understanding they deserve. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Support Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) Virtual Advocacy Day on May 17, 2022

I am grateful for the opportunity to be an Advocate with Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC).

EDC brings advocates together once a year for national Advocacy Days to educate Members of Congress and push for important policy goals.

I will share my story on Capitol Hill on EDC Virtual Advocacy Day on May 17th so I can influence federal policy and make a difference in the lives of those affected by eating disorders.

You can also get involved and show your support by sharing information on your social media accounts and contacting your Members of Congress. 

Sign up to receive a social media tool kit here:

Thank you for your support!
​Malinda Ann Hill

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Thank you, Leah Connor, for managing everything for the C-VILLE-athon from 2015-2020.

LEAH CONNOR | C-VILLE-athon Streakers

I'm very proud of my volunteer work promoting the C-VILLE-athon from 2015-2020. I created logos for the finisher shirts as well as managed all registrations, checklists, website, digital marketing, and social media. Learn more about my nonprofit work at and THANK YOU!

My favorite race in the C-VILLE-athon is the Montalto Challenge. It's the only race that I've completed every year since it started! My second favorite event is the All-Comers Summer Track Meets. Not only is it the oldest running event in Charlottesville (started in 1975), it's also the cheapest! You can run two events that count in the C-VILLE-athon (The Mile and the 5K or 2 Miler) for just $2 (only $1 if you're a CTC member).

Supporting local non-profit organizations in the community is one of the main reasons I love racing. When Mark Lorenzoni approached me with the idea for the C-VILLE-athon I was excited to help promote the challenge because I knew it would help encourage runners to register for races they might never have participated in before.

I've always been obsessed with racing because it's the fun way to get in some speed work! Having a checklist to monitor my progress throughout the year has been fun and motivating. I might not be setting any PRs anymore, but I like to challenge myself to get out there and compete. In 2015, I ran 98 miles in C-VILLE-athon races, in 2016 I completed 82 miles. In 2017 I was injured and couldn't run or race for 2 months, but I still managed to log 62 miles. Phew! :) I ran 21 different events in 2018, but I still have a few races I've never entered that I need to add to my checklist in 2019. My goal is to run every race in the C-VILLE-athon at least once! I wish my identical twin sister could make it from Philly to Cville to complete the C-VILLE-athon too, but I always bring my "flat twin" with me to the races!

Obsessive running and racing data can be found on my website!