ASPEN NETWORK DIRECTORS
Meg Fields, RN, Psy.D. (She/Her)
Director of Program Development
Meg has a doctorate in clinical psychology, is on the Advisory Board for the Disability Student Services at Diablo Valley College, has extensive counseling experience and completed a career of 20 years at San Francisco General as a psychiatric emergency room nurse. Her doctoral dissertation revealed that young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder are socially lonely and underemployed. The aftermath of this finding highlighted the need for Aspen Network’s social living model which Meg co-founded. Meg continues to develop programs for young adults with social differences who have difficulty launching from their parents’ homes or are underemployed due to social anxiety, mood disorders, depression, OCD, ADHD, executive function disabilities, or learning difficulties. Meg’s wealth of theoretical knowledge and counseling experience complemented with her compassion, love, and unconditional regard for an individual is the foundation in which she brings individuals together to great belonging.
Michael Fields RN.(He/Him)
Director of Operations
Michael has been on the emergency-room staff at California Pacific Michael comes with 20 years of experience as an emergency room charge nurse at California Pacific Medical Center. He and Meg co-founded Aspen Network and he oversees the daily programmatic operations for the Living PODs. He provides direction and supervision for the peer counselors. His natural ability to connect with clients on a uniquely individual basis enables them to discover their paths. He truly loves working with young adults, helping and encouraging them to accomplish their individual goals. Mike is an integral part of the magic that surrounds Aspen.
Elizabeth Wilson Palmer (She/Her)
Education Specialist, Credentialed Learning Specialist
Elizabeth “Liz” Wilson Palmer holds a B.A. in Child Development, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Learning Specialist Credential. In addition to 10 years of classroom experience working with students with learning differences and mental health challenges, she served as the transition specialist for the Contra Costa County Office of Education for 25 years. She was the first full-time “transition specialist” in the state of California. She has been a California state trainer in transition and has written transition handbooks, guides, and curriculum. She was the keynote speaker at California’s first state conference on transition and has presented extensively at local, state, and national educational conferences. She has been recognized with several outstanding educator awards including a Teacher of the Year award as well as many community and government service awards. Liz has been with Aspen Network for the past five years and what has been most notable is how she understands how to support young adults in a realistic and meaningful way as they negotiate their educational and vocational experiences educating clients towards the soft and hard skills necessary for being employable, and moving towards a higher quality of adult life.
SOCIAL LIVING COACHES
Tyler Shields, B.A., (She/Her)
Tyler Shields received her B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University magna cum laude. Her next step a graduate degree in Psychology! Tyler has been an integral part of the Aspen Network team for seven years. She is a brilliant Interning-counselor with a deep intuitive sense of connecting with the residents.
Tyler supervises and helps many other young, excited fellow students from the Psychology Department at San Francisco State University. Tyler gets to know her fellow students very well and has been a Teacher’s Assistant and Co-lecturer for many semesters at SFSU, her role as TA has helped her discover a love of teaching and seeing her students succeed.
Gurneet Nijjar, B.A., (She/Her)
Gurneet received her B.A. in Psychology with minors in Health Education and Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. She will be applying to Graduate Programs soon! She started working as a health education volunteer at Peer Health exchange teaching high school freshmen. She helped students with resources and tools to make healthy decisions. As a leadership coordinator she was trained to facilitate the development of teaching strategies and skills of the other volunteers. Her natural leadership was transferred over well here at Aspen. Although she started at Aspen in summer of 2021 she is already a very important member of our team! She is kind and considerate of each client’s needs and helps each one to make healthier choices. She makes weekends fun and coordinates arts & crafts time on Sundays!
Jeffrey Allen Hayes, MA, Emotion Skills Coach (He/Him)
Critical Growth Games
Jeffrey received his BS in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University and his MA in Psychological Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies, where his primary focus of study was Drama Therapy. During his Master’s program, he noticed similarities between drama therapy theory and the way he engaged with his hobby of tabletop roleplaying games, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Since then, Jeffrey has made a business of using games as a modality to help others develop their social and emotional skills. His work has taken him to senior centers, LGBTQ+ communities, schools, and now to Aspen Network.
You can learn more about his business at www.criticalgrowthgames.com
Anna Fields, B.A., (She/Her)
Linguist, Poet, Assistant Chef
Anna just graduated from UC Santa Cruz, where she studied literature and French. Aspen Network has always been a huge part of her life, but since graduating, she’s had time to actively participate in more activities. She works as an Instructional Assistant for Wagner Ranch Elementary School, and a substitute teacher for the whole Orinda school district. She runs Tuesday night dinners at the pod with Tyler. She has a gorgeous heart and compassion for those struggling.
Amy Fields (She/Her)
Co-Founder & Business Development Director
Amy has an A.A. in Psychology from Diablo Valley College. Amy has worked with Aspen Network for the past 10 years. She is invaluable as a trained peer leader, helping to build a residential community and participating in program development. Amy’s intuition and kindness reach across wide divides with the residents and assists them with their internal challenges with relationships and living with other people.