Dr. Maryssa Kucskar Mitsch

Maryssa Mitsch

( She/Her/Hers )
Associate Professor
Special Education (SPED)
Phone: (415) 338-3430
Email: mmitsch@sfsu.edu

Maryssa K. Mitsch, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Special Education in the Department of Special Education. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses in development, social emotional development and challenging behavior, assessment, early intervention, and family systems. Dr. Mitsch's primary research interests focus on inclusive practices, social skills interventions for young children with disabilities, partnership with families, and strategies for effective pre-service and in-service teacher preparation.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Special Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2017
  • M.Ed., Early Childhood Special Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas,2011
  • B.A., Elementary Education, University of South Carolina, 2009

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. C. R. (2023). Social emotional development and mental health: Special education and social work interdisciplinary collaboration. In D. Slanda & L. Puke (Eds.). Handbook of Research on Interdisciplinary Preparation for Equitable Special Education. IGI Global.  
  • Mitsch, M. K., Friesen, A., & Du, K.* (2022). Calling authentic leaders: Promoting equity and anti-bias curriculum for all young children and their families – conclusion to a special issue of Issues in Teacher EducationIssues in Teacher Education, 31(2), 122-131.  
  • Mitsch, M. K., Weglarz-Ward, J., & Branch, J. (2022). “I’m new here”: Leveraging responsibilities, relationships, and resources for new faculty leaders. Young Exceptional, Children, 00(0), 1-14.  
  • Mitsch, M. K., Riggleman, S., & Buchter, J. (2021). Responding to young children’s social emotional needs through video modeling. Young Exceptional Children, 24(1), 1-12.      
  • Mitsch, M. K., & Riggleman, S. (2020). Effectively integrating direct instruction and discrete trials across routines, activities, and environments. Beyond Behavior, 29(3), 152-161. 
  • Mitsch, M. K., Branch, J., & Weglarz-Ward, J. (2020). Integrating family content in teacher preparation programs using intentional reflection and planning. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 41(2), 197-208. 
  • Mortensen, J. A., Mitsch, M. K., Decker, K. B., Fusaro, M., Brophy-Herb, H. E., Vallotton, C., Buell, M. J., & CUPID. (2019). Building bridges to overcome widening gaps: Challenges in addressing the need for professional preparation of infant/toddler practitioners in higher education. Bank Street Education Occasional Paper Series: Promise in Infant-Toddler Care and Education, 42, 86-103.  

Recent Grants/Awards

Principal Investigator (2022 - 2026) 

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

Recruitment & Collaborations Coordinator (2019-2024)  

  • Project GROW (Guiding Responsive Communication within Inclusive Early Childhood Settings). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($1,250,000). 
  • Co-Principal Investigators: Drs. Amber Friesen & Teresa Gray 

Co-Principal Investigator (2021-2022)                                                                           

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

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. Amber Friesen 

Co-Principal Investigator (2018-2019)                                                                                          

  • Project CIRCLE (Careers and Inclusive Resources related to Children’s Learning in the 
  • Early Years). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($1,250,000). 
  • Co-Principal Investigators: Drs. Amber Friesen and Marci Hanson (2015-2019) 

 Co-Principal Investigator (2019 – submitted)                                            

  • Student Success in the Majors Initiative: Minor in Inclusive Early Childhood Pathways, SFSU (proposed $10,000). 
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Mina Kim