Kenn Dela Cruz

Kenn Dela Cruz

  • Ph.D. Student


Kenn Dela Cruz is a developmental psychology doctoral student in the VEST predoctoral two-year fellowship. He is interested in questions around how we come to understand our own emotions and those of others. More broadly, his research interests focus on the interplay of emotion and cognition across the lifespan within the individual while considering the systems that surround them. For the VEST fellowship, he is interested in exploring how educational contextual factors may shape the developmental trajectories of the potential relations between emotion regulation and executive function from preschool to kindergarten in children from diverse backgrounds.

Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Dela Cruz was a mixed-methods researcher at an interdisciplinary family policy and developmental science lab at the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research. He was also an early childhood educator working with infants and toddlers at the Loyola Marymount University Children’s Center. Dela Cruz continues to be involved in the community through being a camp counselor at the UVA Brain Camp. In the past, he has volunteered as a parent-toddler art instructor at a Bay Area children’s museum and a child life support staff in a southern California children’s hospital.


M.A., San Francisco State University, 2017
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2013


  • Interplay between cognitive and emotional development across the lifespan
  • Contextual factors shaping development
  • Early childhood education