SPED Newsletter - Fall 2018

FALL 2018


Department of Special Education


Special Events
Faculty Accomplishments
Student Spot
Fun Space
Upcoming Events


A warm welcome to Fall 2018! This semester we welcomed 74 new graduate students (credential, masters, doctoral) and 172 undergraduate SPED minor students. In this inaugural edition of SPED News we are acknowledging and celebrating the accomplishments of our staff, students, and faculty. Your dedication is inspiring! We also extend our gratitude to our generous donors and alumnae Mark Voorhies, Dr. Arlee Maier, and Jo Markowitz for their ongoing support of our students and programs. Wishing you a healthy and productive semester! Yvonne N. Bui

SPED Graduation Group Photo


Early Childhood Special Education South Africa summer 2018

Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch with CAD and ECSE students in Cape Town, South Africa

Faculty, staff, and students from the Early Childhood Special Education, CAD, and EDvance programs went to Cape Town, South Africa summer 2018 to work with local preschools and inclusive child-care centers.

The Intern Credential program added 41 new interns from over 15 school districts and county programs this year.

The Visual Impairments program is now 100% available to students all over California, with a balance of Zoom instruction and face-to-face lab weekends every semester.

Faculty from the Moderate-Severe Disabilities programFaculty from the Moderate-Severe Disabilities program and California Deafblind Services staff congratulated the final cohort of scholars from the OSEP funded four-year personnel preparation project, Specialization in the Education of Students who are Deafblind.


SPED Department Photo

The Joint Doctoral program with UC Berkeley celebrated its 50th year anniversary at the Seven Hills Conference Center on April 11, 2018.


Peter DeHaas presented: "Inclusion" at the Moscow Urban Forum in Moscow, Russia.

Dr. Amber Friesen published: "Using family projects to promote meaningful home-school partnerships in inclusive preschool classrooms" in Young Exceptional Children.

Drs. Amber Friesen, Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch, and Patti Solomon-Rice were awarded a $1.25 million grant for Project GROW (Guiding Responsive Communication within Inclusive Early Childhood Settings) from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch was awarded the SF State IRA Grant for the Early Childhood Special Education Conference for Spring 2019.

Dr. Kathleen Mortier was awarded the SF State Research and Scholarly Activity Fund Small Grant: "Cultural brokering: Exploration of a novel concept in Special Education."

Dr. Philip Prinz presented: "Developing Bilingual Pragmatic Competence in a Natural Signed Language and Majority Written Language: Evidence from Deaf Children Acquiring ASL and English" in Padua, Italy.

Dr. Mary Requa presented: "Vocabulary development through shared storybook reading with preschool parents," Society for the Scientific Study of Reading in Brighton, England.

Drs. Mary Requa, Janelle Rodl, and Brad Fogo received the CCTE CEEDAR Mini Grant: A Collaboration in Lesson Series Development Among Special and General Education Teacher Candidates.

Dr. Janelle Rodl published: "A survey of school administrators’ training and support related to evaluating special education teachers," Journal of School Administration Research and Development.

Dr. Sandra Rosen published two chapters in Partners in O&M Supporting Orientation & Mobility for Students Who Are Visually Impaired.

Dr. Ting Siu was awarded a $75,000 grant from The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute on "Tangible Programming Environment Targeted for Students who are Visually Impaired."

Dr. Gloria Soto presented: "Recast type, repair and interaction in AAC-mediated interaction," "A culturally and linguistic responsive approach to AAC," and “Language intervention for children and youth who use AAC," International Society for AAC in Gold Coast, Australia.

Dr. Gloria Soto and colleagues won the Best Paper Award for "Language learning, recasts, and interaction involving AAC: background and potential for intervention," Augmentative and Alternative Communication.


Congratulations to more than 50 master’s and master’s plus credential students graduates and 3 Joint Doctoral students in special education in 2017-2018!

student spot photo 1student spot photo 2student spot photo 3student spot photo 4student spot photo 5

Maryam Salehomoum, Krystal Anderson, and Isabella Brown were awarded the University’s Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Student Achievement.

Gesean Lewis Woods is a recipient of the California State University Foundation’s predoctoral scholarship this year. He plans to conduct research on the ways pets help people with autism.

Corrine Aramburo, a second-year Joint Doctoral program student, is a Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program Scholar for the 2018-19 academic year. Kathleen Mortier is her advisor.

Pam Wolfberg and Gesean Lewis Woods

Gesean Lewis Woods with his advisor Dr. Pamela Wolfberg and her dog, Yoko


Wednesday, Oct. 3
Special Education Info Session
3-5 pm, Burk Hall 238

Thursday, Oct. 4
Asperger’s Nazi Medicine
3:30-5:30 pm, McKenna Theatre

Wednesday, Nov. 7
Special Education Info Session
3-5 pm, Burk Hall 238

Monday, Nov. 12
Veteran’s Day, Campus Closed

Monday, Nov. 19-Nov. 21
Fall 2018 Recess, Campus Open

Wednesday, Nov. 22-Nov. 23
Fall 2018 Recess, Campus Closed

Wednesday, Dec. 5
Special Education Info Session
3-5 pm, Burk Hall 238

Monday, Dec. 17
Last Day of Instruction

Saturday, Dec. 15, Dec. 18-22
Final Exams


outside group photo

Undergraduate Minor in Special Education students in SPED 630 participated at a Support for Families event on September 22, 2018.

support for families photo

Support for Families is a San Francisco based organization for families with children with disabilities.

Sandra Germinaro photo

Sandra Germinaro, ASL instructor, shows off her cool moves on her onewheeler.

adorable puppy photo

Loki, Janelle Rodl’s adorable new puppy

Department of Special Education

sped.sfsu.edu sped@sfsu.edu (415) 338-1161 Burk Hall 156

SPEDNews is published each semester.

Editor: Jeanne Oh