ASPEN NETWORK DIRECTORS
Meg Fields, RN, Psy.D.
Meg has more than 20 years of experience as a nurse in the psychiatric emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital and holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her dissertation focused on parental perception of their own effectiveness in parenting a youth on the spectrum. Trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Meg has counseled youth at California College of the Arts, as well as children in the Palo Alto School District, and since 2009 she has co-directed the Aspen Network Camp. Meg develops programs for young adults with social differences who have difficulty launching from their parents’ homes due to social anxiety, OCD, ADHD, Non-verbal Learning Disorders, learning difficulties, and spectrum disorders. Meg and her team have been learning about de-mystifying disabilities and diagnoses for Aspen’s clients. Meg’s interest and training in understanding the impact of a deficit in the executive function allows her to set realistic, obtainable goals.
Michael Fields, RN
Michael has been on the emergency-room staff at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, for more than 15 years. He has extensive training in intensive care and is certified in advanced cardiac life support and advanced pediatric life support. Michael has co-directed Aspen Network Camp since 2009 and has 17 years of backcountry hiking and camping experience. He works closely with our youth, helping them to discover their strengths and develop strategies that will assist them in establishing habits and routines for success. Campers strongly relate to his calm and caring disposition.
Elizabeth Wilson Palmer
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 specialists 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 three 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, moving towards a higher quality of adult life.
SOCIAL LIVING COACHES
John Hutchinson, Technical Program Consultant & Tuesday Night Dinner Coach
John has a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State. He has been working at Aspen Network for the past 6 years, after retiring from a 30 year career in sales. At Aspen, he serves as a liaison between Aspen Network and various technical programs at local colleges, mentoring clients in their career exploration in the technical fields. In addition, John shares his culinary skills as coordinator of the Tuesday night community dinners. John brings a wealth of knowledge and a broad understanding of the clients’ needs along with enthusiasm and a commitment to support them in their individual goals.
Elizabeth Raney, Psychology Intern
Elizabeth has her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Colby College. Early this year, she abandoned her successful tech sales career to join the Aspen Network team, following her true passion to connect and help people. As a psychology intern she is gaining experience and supervision to prepare her for her doctoral training in clinical psychology. She is co-directing multiple groups and thoroughly involved with the day-to-day running of the program. She is in the process of applying to Psy.D.
Tyler Shields, Peer Councelor
Tyler Shields received her A.A. in Psychology from Diablo Valley College. She is currently at San Francisco State University working towards her B.A. in Psychology. Tyler has been an integral part of the Aspen Network team for five years. She is a brilliant peer counselor with a deep intuitive sense of connecting with the residents.
Amy has worked with Aspen Network for the past five years as a camp counselor, peer mentor and resident assistant. She is an invaluable member of our team as a trained peer leader, helping to build a residential community, organizing and participating in programming events, acting as a para-counselor for residents, and being a familiar first-resource to help answer any questions or concerns. Amy gets to know all the residents and works to help each resident if they run into any problems that might pertain to relationships, class-work, or programmatic questions. Amy is currently attending college to complete her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also works part-time at JumpstartMD as a Member Support Specialist.