Field Staff West Coast
The Field Team includes outdoor experts with an array of professional and personal experience. Wilderness specialists bring expertise in safety, compassion for struggling youth, enthusiasm for utilizing the outdoors as a catalyst for positive change, and are the core of the team. They frequently bring creative use of natural resources to individualized interventions.
Dan Kikkert, MSIOP
As the Operations Director at New Vision Wilderness-Bend, Dan oversees the Operations Department, including logistics, inventory and asset management, systems development, and risk management. He consults regularly with other New Vision Wilderness-Bend Departments to help facilitate effective organizational systems, culture, and personnel development. Dan has been working in the wilderness therapy industry since 2012. He received his BS in Physics with a Minor in Mathematics from Penn State University, and his MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Sacred Heart University. He has been a WEMT since 2014, and is passionate about the medical field. Dan spent three years as a senior guide before transitioning into program leadership, and has worked in a variety of field, programming, and operations roles since then. Dan has a passion for the outdoors and outdoor sports including climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, back-country skiing, surfing, backpacking, and rafting.
Elizabeth Deardorff, LCSW
Liz joined the NVW team in 2010 and has been an integral part of the clinical team, wearing many therapeutic hats throughout the years. Although Liz has worked with each age population within New Vision, her passion is treating, supporting and guiding young adults. Young Adults are in a very important time of their life where wilderness and support create an optimal opportunity for self discovery, healing, interdependence, and personal growth. Liz deeply believes that in order to establish a secure sense of self, healing through relational support and internal awareness is essential. She steps into this work with determination and excitement to utilize the power of nature, experiences in the present and relational repair to support that development of self. Liz achieved her Master of Social Work, emphasis on Child and Family and Mental Health, from Loyola University Chicago in Illinois. She is trained in Brainspotting, EMDR-Level One and Two, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga which are powerful tools to utilize with trauma, attachment and anxiety. Liz utilizes these tools to create a powerful experience within treatment. Outside of work you can find Liz trying to find every waterfall in Oregon, dancing, reading, and rooting for her favorite team, the Wisconsin Badgers.
Rachel Grimm BS
Rachel graduated from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Community Education and a focus on therapeutic work. During college, she was also a full time athlete on the diving team. For the past five years, Rachel has worked with many children with disabilities as a line therapist for kids with autism and also as a volunteer for special education classrooms and horse therapy programs. Rachel took courses with her dog to achieve therapy dog certification. They visited nursing homes to help raise the spirits of those who need it most. Rachel is excited to be continuing her journey here at NVW; and in her free time, she enjoys fishing, horseback riding, skiing, hiking and going to the movies.
Janae Sporrer BS
Janae is a Pacific Northwest native and has deep love for Oregon and its natural beauty. Janae was born and raised near Portland, Oregon. She graduated the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology and a certification from The Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Program in outdoor recreation. It was during her time at university that she discovered the freedom of the Wilderness and devoted her time to perusing its teachings. She found her community during her first experience as an outdoor adventure guide leading trips in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Janae started working in Wilderness Therapy in spring of 2014 as a field guide in Vermont. There she worked up to becoming the seasonal Field Director and later moved West to gain more experience. Janae desired move back to the Pacific Northwest to put some roots down of her own. New Vision Wilderness’s dedication to helping others and mission of “creating joy” was the driving force leading Janae to become our Field Coordinator. Janae enjoys giving our new students genuine welcome, keeping our students safe during transports and seeing and celebrating the glow of a graduating student after weeks of hard work. Janae has many accomplishments including working on the Rogue River, hiking long sections of the PCT, thru-hiking the Colorado trail, rowing the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River and exploring the beauty of the desert Southwest. Along side her on many of her adventures is her wonderful partner and her dog, Crypto (after Cryptobiotic soil!). Janae enjoys bringing intention into her life through reading, cooking scrumptious meals, participating in yoga and writing good ol’ snail-mail letters to people she loves!
Krystin N AA
Krystin grew up in Central Oregon and spent the last few years pursuing a degree in tourism and outdoor leadership. In her spare time she does a lot of backpacking, fishing, swimming and spending time with family and friends. Before coming to new vision wilderness, she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in the children and teens programs. She also holds a Wilderness First Responder certification.
If you see a girl in the field wearing a visor, it’s probably Sophia. Sophia is originally from the foggy coast of Santa Cruz, California. She spent her years in college studying Sociology and Fine Art. During a semester in the Sierras, Sophia studied outdoor leadership where she was exposed to the healing that the wilderness can bring. She was part of the women’s inaugural 'Ride For Water' team, which cycled across the United States to raise money and awareness for the global water crisis. She spent time living in South Africa and Haiti, volunteering in community development. During her time off, Sophia enjoys cycling, running, drinking hot chocolate, and exploring new hobbies. Sophia is excited to be a part of the radical work of wilderness therapy, and is constantly motivated to continue to grow and learn through relationship based therapy.
Becky graduated from Iowa state University with a degree in Child, Adult and Family Services. While studying she was also a full-time student athlete on the swimming and diving team. Becky grew up camping all around Wisconsin and has worked at a YMCA camp the past 5 summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin going from counselor, to trips assistant, to water ski assistant. She decided to come move to Oregon to pursue a position with New Vision and to get out of the Midwest.
Once upon a time, in a small town nestled near the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a curious kid wandered off into the woods behind his home to seek adventure. This is the moment that sparked a lifelong passion for the wilderness with Steven. And as Steven grew up, he explored many outdoor meccas; finding his refuge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where rock climbing, trail running, mountain biking and backpacking have become disciplines he pushes to master. Through wilderness therapy, he’s able to combine his passion for the outdoors with his passion for teaching by helping others be the best versions of themselves.
Joe is a local Oregonian, born and raised in Portland. Joe has followed a life long passion and mission in helping survivors of trauma heal. A recent graduate from Quest University Canada, Joe is a trained facilitator with experience in conflict mediation, victim advocacy, equity facilitation, and community organizing. Joe joined New Visions Wilderness in May 2019 and is exited to incorporate trauma healing with his love and appreciation of nature.
Born and raised in the shadow of Denali, then growing up in the Olympic and Cascade mountains surrounding the Salish Sea, Graham has been exploring the wild peaks and coasts of the Pacific Northwest for almost two decades. Graham graduated from the Evergreen State College, with a BA in literature and history, and volunteered as a climbing instructor and trip leader for the Mountaineers. Recently relocating to Bend brought Graham the opportunity to help a new generation of kids seek growth and healing in the wilderness, and to explore the timeless beauty of the High Desert. After guiding at New Vision for a year, Graham moved into the role of Academic Specialist where he can continue to share his passion for both education and the outdoors.
Miro grew up on a small farm in the woods of Western Oregon but moved after high school to attend Beloit College in Wisconsin. After graduating with a Bio-psychology degree, he spent three years teaching and traveling internationally highlighted by teaching contracts in Ecuador and Thailand. Upon his return to Oregon, he united his passions for the outdoors, education and mental health to work as a field instructor. In his spare time, Miro enjoys traveling, playing Frisbee, and writing.
Paige grew up in the hills of Northern California. She attended school at UC Davis where she studied Environmental Science. Here Paige grew to understand and appreciate what it means to be a steward of the planet. Her schooling lead her to realize that the most effective way to help the environment was encouraging people to connect with it. Paige began working as a Field Instructor for New Vision Wilderness in spring of 2016. After guiding she became a Field Specialist and found her true passion of mentoring Field Instructors. To widen her scope of the therapeutic industry, Paige went to work for another local therapeutic program in Bend, as the Activities Director.
Now Paige is back at New Vision Wilderness as the Assistant Field Director, where she manages the Canines, and supports in the development of Field Instructors. Outside of work Paige loves to go on long trail runs, long climbs, and anything else that allows her to be outside.
Monique grew up in a small town in Idaho raising goats, canoeing, biking, and sailing. Being outside was a source of freedom and serenity, which sparked her desire to explore more outdoor hobbies. During college, she pursued a degree in psychology and discovered her love for the mountains through backpacking and mountaineering. Experiencing empowerment and growth from the challenges that the wilderness brings, she wanted to combine her interest in the outdoors with her passion to help others. She became a guide at New Vision because she values a relational focus and how the wilderness can cultivate transformation. Monique enjoys running, hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and making delicious food in her free time.
Max is currently in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Minor in Sustainability from Oregon State University. He is from the Chicagoland area originally but has been living in Central Oregon for the past 3 years. Max spends the majority of his free time in the outdoors whether that be climbing, biking, running, or hiking. But he also finds time to slow down and recognize the simplicity of seeking contentment in moments of everyday life; such as cooking a good meal, sharing a thoughtful conversation, or reading an interesting book.
Liz grew up camping, biking and hiking in Wisconsin. After a few family trips out west involving camping and hiking, Liz fell in love with the outdoors and knew that she wanted to end up in the mountains. After finishing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Policy with minors in Public Administration and Political Science from UW-Green Bay, Liz spent a summer in on Washington Island as an Environmental Education intern at a butterfly house. Liz became an AmeriCorps VISTA the following winter and moved out to Billings, Montana to start a community garden in a food desert. She spent weekends exploring the Beartooth Mountains and fell in love with Montana. At the end of her VISTA term, she moved to Northwest Montana to work as a Field Crew Leader with Montana Conservation Corps right outside of Glacier National Park. She co-led a crew of five adult crew members in building and maintaining trails and structures throughout the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, and the Kootenai National Forest for ten months. The following summer, Liz led a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew through the conservation corps up in Eureka, Montana with local teens. Liz learned to love working with youth through her time as a YCC leader. Liz joined the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco where she taught yoga, English and Life Skills to Moroccan Youth. When Liz moved back from Morocco, she knew she wanted to get into Wilderness Therapy and started searching for Wilderness Therapy Guide jobs and found New Vision.
Juliana Z – Field Instructor
Juliana can be easily found in the kitchen baking a crisp, squished between her two big brothers, strolling through a cemetery, singing off key, and talking to strangers. Originally a Las Vegas desert rat, she thinks one of her parent’s best decisions was moving to the Northwest where she first discovered that being outside could be fun. In college, Juliana studied Communications and Spanish, drawn to the study of human connection and how language and culture play a role in who we are. Juliana put her Spanish to use by teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar at a public university in Barranquilla, Colombia where she enjoyed being embraced by a new community, experimenting with different forms of public transportation, and trying exotic fruits. She combined her appreciation for education and the outdoors upon returning to the States by guiding a 54-day long outdoor leadership course for teenage women. This lead her to pursue her MSW in order to fill her tool belt with evidence based practices for working with youth in the future. This summer, Juliana is excited to spend her summer break at NVW and to continue learning and growing.
Emily was born and raised in the swampy, mythical, and strange land of central Florida. She grew up playing fast-pitch softball and rescuing stray cats. A nerd by heart, Emily graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College with a degree in Latin American/Caribbean Studies and Spanish. During her collegiate career, she was lucky enough to begin her life-long journey of traveling to places such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and more. During this time, she learned Spanish and Portuguese. Eventually, she found herself in Oregon studying natural building and permaculture. She has lived off-grid multiple times and feels a strong connection to the healing properties of nature. In the past few years, she has worked for non-profits such as Huerto de la Familia and Aprovecho, while volunteering at Child's Way Charter School with at-risk youth. Emily's passion for psychology and interpersonal relationships eventually urged her to apply to a job at New Vision and she has fallen in love with it. During her off-shift, she enjoys hiking, reading, biking, backpacking, playing guitar and piano, and going on adventures with her partner, and her wonderful therapy dog, Bark
Growing up past the Bay Bridge, on the oyster shell coast of Maryland, Clare began to understand how she essentially wanted to live her life: playing through the woods with bruised knees, scraped shins, twigs in her hair, and her dog by her side. Throughout high school, she learned how important it was to give back to those around her. With that in mind, Clare went to college in Boone, NC to simultaneously pursue her needs to explore mountains, observe nature, and exist among an adventurous community all while developing a tool box to help those around me. At Appalachian State, she volunteered with AppHealth Care, assisted in pioneering the organization, Innovative Approaches, guided climbing expeditions with App State’s Outdoor Programs, and worked towards finally getting her B.A. in Psychology in 2018. After graduating, Clare blasted up to Alaska to continue guiding commercially, then moved to Wyoming for the fall to volunteer with HawkWatch International, then finally she made it to Bend to dive into her ideal job.
Annie grew up in the great state of Minnesota where she always enjoyed time spent playing outside. During college, Annie spent her summers working at a youth camp where she fell in love with camping as well as outdoor recreation and education. She was often inspired by the way the wilderness and outdoor adventures encouraged growth not only in her campers but in herself as well. After college Annie taught English in Tanzania for two years and then returned to the US to spend several years working with refugees in Minnesota. Annie has a passion for meeting people where they are at as well as offering support as she challenges others to step out of their comfort zone in order to foster growth and self-efficacy. In Summer 2018 Annie decided to push her own boundaries by completing a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Following this endeavor she decided to pursue a career in wilderness therapy in order to combine her passion for empowering others with the healing power of the outdoors. In her free time, Annie enjoys trail running, reading, eating donuts and cross country skiing.
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