Mary Jo Fresch was a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning before retiring in July 2015. Fresch began her career as a 3rd grade teacher in Kent, Ohio. She taught adult literacy at the University of Akron and reading methods at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln). Fresch completed her Doctorate in Language, Literature, and Culture at The Ohio State University. She moved to Melbourne, Australia where she taught for three years in teacher education at Deakin University and The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Fresch returned to Columbus in 1995. She joined the faculty at The Ohio State University at Marion, where she taught in teacher education for 20 years.
Her research focus is the developmental aspects of becoming a reader, writer, and speller. Her articles have appeared in peer reviewed journals: Journal of Literacy Research; Reading and Writing Quarterly; Reading Psychology; The Reading Teacher; Language Arts; Journal of Just and Caring Education; Journal of Children's Literatureand several International Literacy Association state journals. She author/co-authored 13 books for teachers, including Strategies for Effective Balanced Literacy; Teaching and Assessing Spelling;Learning Through Poetry (a five book phonemic/phonological awareness series); The Power of Picture Books: Using Content Area Literature in Middle School and edited An Essential History of Current Reading Practices.
Fresch was actively engaged in service to the university. She represented the Marion campus as a University Senator for six years. During that time she served on the Faculty Council Steering and Senate Rules committees. She was appointed to the University Athletic Council, serving as Vice-chair during 2014-2015. Additionally, Fresch served on Department, College, and Marion campus committees. Fresch was Director of the Study Abroad program to an English Immersion school in Concepcion, Chile. Fresch made eleven trips with Ohio State students, providing professional development for the bilingual teachers. Her professional development presentations have taken her across the United States, as well as abroad to New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Jamaica, and Canada.