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Vanessa Diaz, Ph.D

Research Assistant Professor

Vanessa Diaz graduated with a Ph.D. and Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Fl orida. Dr. Diaz completed concentrations in Neuroscience and Methodology, while focusing her research on bilingual children in the United States. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University in Miami, where she obtained a minor in French Language and Culture.

Research Interests: Bilingualism, Socio-Cognitive Development, Theory of Mind,

Executive Functioning, Language Development, Immigrant Families

Research Coordinator

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Kelly Runyon

Project Manager

Kelly is a recent Virginia Tech graduate who double majored in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology. Before applying to graduate school, she is working with Dr. Vanessa Diaz investigating differences in executive functioning and theory of mind in bilingual preschoolers. Kelly is interested in language acquisition, bilingualism, ASD, and Alzheimer's Disease.

Undergraduate Research Assistants - Spring 2020


Cameron Smith

Cameron is a junior in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience as well as Computer Science, and he is from Round Hill, Virginia. After completing his undergraduate studies, he plans to attend graduate school to attain a graduate degree in a field closely related to Neuroscience and Psychology.


Kaitlin Joos Vandewalle

Kaitlin is a Junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Psychology. She is planning to persue her master’s degree and PhD after graduation, with a focus in Clinical Psychology. She is originally from Botswana and plans to return to her home country after finishing with her studies in order to address mental health in the communities.

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