Amber Friesen Bio

Amber Friesen

( She/Her/Hers )
Department Chair, Professor
Special Education (SPED)
Phone: (415) 338-7654
Email: afriesen@sfsu.edu

Dr. Amber Friesen is the Department Chair and a Professor within the Department of Special Education. Dr. Friesen’s primary research interests focus on supporting and advocating for the inclusion of all young children within their schools, communities and society, including those diagnosed with disabilities.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Indiana University, 2011
  • M.Ed. Indiana University, 2008
  • B.Ed/B.A. University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, 2003

Selected Recent Publications

  • Friesen, A., Mitsch, M.K. & Du, K. (in process). Advancing equity and inclusion in early childhood education (Eds.). IGI Global.
  • Mitsch, M.K., Collins, B., & Friesen. A. & Hermoso, J. (2023). Social emotional development and mental health: Interdisciplinary collaboration between early childhood special education and social work personnel preparation programs. In D. Sianda & L. Pike, (Eds.), Interdisciplinary preparation for equitable special education. IGI Global.
  • A. Friesen & Mihai, A. (2023). Promoting professional growth through reflective practice: A framework for inclusive early childhood practice. Young Exceptional Children.
  • Friesen, A., Kucskar Mitsch, M., Du, K*. (2022, September). Advancing equity and inclusion in early childhood education (Eds.). Issues in Teacher Education.
  • Morgan, C.W., Du, Karina, & Friesen, A. (2021). Responding to difference: Enacting inclusive early childhood education through the social-relations approach. Young Exceptional Children 24(3), 170-186.
  • Friesen, A., Mihai, A., Butera, G., Horn, E., Palmer, S., & Lieber, J. (2020). Using family projects to promote meaningful home-school partnerships in inclusive preschool classrooms. Young Exceptional Children 23,(2). 87-99.
  • Waters, C., & Friesen, A. (2019). Parent experiences of raising a young child with multiple disabilities: The transition to preschool. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 44(1), 20-36.

Recent Grants/ Awards

ECSE Recruitment and Collaborations Coordinator (2022 - 2026)

  • Adversity and Resiliency Interventions for Social Emotional Development in Early Childhood (Project ARISE). U.S. Department of Education,  
  • Office of Special Education Programs (requested $1,100,000) 
  • Co-Principal Investigators: Drs. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch & Jocelyn Hermoso

Principal Investigator (2019-2024)                                                                                     

  • Project GROW. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($1,250,000).
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Teresa Gray

Co-Principal Investigator (2021-2022)                                                                          

  • Project EXAMINE: Examining Perceptions of Inclusion from Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Team Members. HEERF - RSCA Recovery
  • Funds ($15,001).
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch

Larsen-Lam Foundation Curriculum Innovation Mini-Grant (2019-2020)                    

  • Project INCLUDE: Strengthening Opportunities for Inclusion within the ECSE Credential Program. Graduate College of Education, SFSU ($7,100).
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch

Grant Contract  (2017-2019)                                                                                               

  • Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP) Project. Santa Clara Office of Education
  • California Department of Education ($27,000)

Principal Investigator (2014-2019)                                                                                         

  • Careers and Inclusive Resources related to Children’s Learning in the
  • Early Years (Project CIRCLE). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special
  • Education Programs ($1,250,000).
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dr Marci Hanson; Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch