Faculty and Staff

Get to know the individuals that comprise the Department of Special Education.

Faculty

Dr. Yvonne Bui

Yvonne Bui

Professor

Special Education Department Chair

ybui@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1161

Dr. Amber Friesen

Amber Friesen

Associate Professor

Early Childhood Special Education

afriesen@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-7654

Dr. Amber Friesen is an assistant professor is early childhood special education in the Department of Special Education and Communicative Disorders. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses in family systems and services, and early intervention. Dr. Friesen’s primary research interests focus on supporting young children at-risk or diagnosed with disabilities and their families. Specifically she is interested in promoting inclusive early childhood settings and strong family partnerships.

Mayumi Hagiwara

Mayumi Hagiwara

Assistant Professor

Extensive Support Needs

mhagiwara@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1161

Mayumi Hagiwara is an assistant professor in the Extensive Support Needs (moderate/severe disabilities) Program in the Department of Special Education. Before joining the faculty at SFSU, she was a postdoctoral researcher at University of Kansas, focusing on promoting self-determination and inclusive community participation for people with extensive support needs. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses in instruction of students with extensive support needs and transition planning. Her research interests focus on inclusive education, self-determination, family-school partnerships, transition planning, and inclusive adult outcomes for people with extensive support needs.

Dr. Summer Hsia

Summer Hsia

Associate Professor

Early Childhood Special Education | Intern Program Coordinator

summerh@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-2502

Dr. Summer Tsai-hsing Hsia is an associate professor and coordinates the Intern Program and the Early Childhood Special Education credential and master’s degree programs in the Department of Special Education. Her primary responsibilities include teaching courses in the area of early childhood special education, supervising student teachers, chairing the master’s degree students’ projects, and mentoring students in the Joint Doctoral Program.

Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch

Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch

Assistant Professor

Early Childhood Special Education

mkucskar@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-3430

Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Early Childhood Special Education in the Department of Special Education. Her primary teaching responsibilities includes courses in early intervention, assessment of young children at-risk and with disabilities, and family systems. Dr. Kucskar’s primary research interests focus on inclusive practices, social skills interventions for young children with disabilities, implementation of evidence-based practices, and strategies for effective professional development.

Dr. Kathleen Mortier

Kathleen Mortier

Assistant Professor

Extensive Support Needs

kmortier@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-7847

Kathleen Mortier is an assistant professor in the Extensive Support Needs (moderate/severe disabilities) Program in the Department of Special Education. Before joining the faculty at SFSU she was involved in systems change and inclusive education in Central America and in Belgium. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses in instruction of students with extensive support needs, research methods, and inclusive education. Her research interests focus on inclusive education, communities of practice, family-school partnerships for Latinx families with children with disabilities, and literacy instruction for students with extensive support needs.

Dr. Mary Requa

Mary Requa

Assistant Professor

Mild to Moderate Support Needs

mrequa@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-3428

Mary K. Requa, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Special Education, mild/moderate disabilities program. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses related to understanding, assessing, and instructing individuals with mild/moderate disabilities including methods and materials to promote successful learning outcomes for typical and atypical learners of all ages. Dr. Requa’s primary research interests include early literacy, vocabulary development, and family engagement.

Dr. Janelle Rodl

Janelle Rodl

Assistant Professor

Mild to Moderate Support Needs

jrodl@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1890

Janelle Rodl (née Lawson), Ph.D., is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Special Education. She currently serves as one of the California Council for Exceptional Children (CA-CEC) officers and is a California Technical Assistant Facilitator in the area of significant disproportionality. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses related to understanding, assessing, and instructing individuals with mild/moderate disabilities. Dr. Rodl’s primary research interests include developing equitable measures of special education teacher efficacy, examining disproportionality in special education and discipline, and increasing individuals’ positive attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Sandra Rosen

Sandra Rosen

Professor

Program in Orientation & Mobility

srosen@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1245

Dr. Rosen is coordinator of the Program in Orientation & Mobility (O&M). She is internationally known for her work in the field, including the development of new teaching approaches in O&M and methods of teaching mobility to people who have both physical and visual impairments. Dr. Rosen has also helped develop O&M professional preparation programs in other countries and is a frequent speaker at international conferences. Her current research interests include the facilitation of balance in children born with visual impairments and the facilitation of proprioceptive awareness in teaching motor and mobility skills.

Dr. Yue-Ting Siu

Yue-Ting Siu

Assistant Professor

Program for Visual Impairments

ysiu@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1080

Dr. Ting is a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and assistant professor in the Program for Visual Impairments in the Department of Special Education. Her primary teaching responsibilities include method courses in visual impairment (VI) such as Medical, Educational, and Rehabilitative Implications of Visual Impairment; Special Populations; Issues in VI; Assessment Strategies and coordination of student teachers and related seminar program. Ting’s research prioritizes connections between research and practice. Her areas of interest and work span the follow areas: Role of communities of practice to support itinerant teachers’ professional development; Development of educational practices and technology that support multimedia accessibility; Teacher adoption of technology including professional use, assessment, and implementation with students.

Dr. Gloria Soto

Gloria Soto

Professor

Joint Doctoral Program Coordinator

gsoto@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1757

Dr. Gloria Soto is a professor in the Department of Special Education. She teaches graduate coursework in special education, cultural diversity, augmentative communication and curriculum-based language and communication intervention.

Her area of professional expertise is in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her areas of research interest include applied educational issues such as multiculturalism, collaborative teaming, inclusive education and professional preparation, as well as more basic areas such as narrative language in AAC, language development through augmented means and the impact of graphic symbol use on language development. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences related to communication intervention and special education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters.

Dr. Pamela Wolfberg

Pamela Wolfberg

Professor

Mild to Moderate Support Needs

wolfberg@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-7651

Dr. Wolfberg is professor in the Department of Special Education where she coordinates the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate (University-wide) and the Mild-Moderate program (within the Department). She concurrently serves as faculty advisor for the Joint Doctoral program in Special Education with the University of California, Berkeley-SFSU. Her teaching responsibilities include graduate seminars focused on autism theory, research and practice, atypical child development and special topics pertaining to contemporary issues in the field. She recently designed a new undergraduate course featuring autism in humanities and the arts.

Staff

Steve Macaris

Steven Macaris

Student Services Specialist

smacaris@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1271

  • Student teaching application & credential exit 
  • Master’s exam and graduation
  • JD Admission and program support 
  • Intern credential support
  • Present at monthly Information Sessions
  • Manage department website
  • General student inquiries

Bio Placeholder 250px

Jeanne Oh

Academic Office Coordinator

joh2@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1161

  • Course scheduling
  • Lecturer Faculty appointments and evaluations
  • Purchasing and receiving
  • Faculty and student travel
  • Grants and honorariums 
  • Operating and expenses budget
  • Trust and U-CORP accounts
  • Accreditation support
  • Department newsletter
  • General office coordination

Bio Placeholder 250px

Chelsea Prieto

Administrative Support Coordinator

ciprieto@sfsu.edu | (415) 338-1161

  • New student graduate admissions (Masters, Credential, Certificates)
  • Undergraduate Minor in Special Education admissions and support
  • Continuing students petitions and waivers (e.g., Advance to Candidacy, Petition for Culminating Experience, course substitution, 7 Year Limit Extension, Transfer of Units, change of program, express readmission)
  • Coordinate recruitment activities and present at monthly Information Sessions
  • Continuing student enrollment data
  • Conditional admissions and archival data 
  • Department email account
  • General student inquiries