Dermina Vasc

Research Scientist and Lecturer | Lillard Lab

Dermina Vasc


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Early Development Lab. I completed my PhD at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where I worked in the Developmental Psychology Lab. My PhD thesis focused on young children's iconic gestural communication and pretend play. In addition to my research interests in children's gesture and pretend play, I am also interested in children's social learning and in studying the mechanisms of learning in children enrolled in Montessori schools.


Vasc, D., & Lillard, A. S. (in press). Pretend and Sociodramatic Play. In S. Hupp & J. Jewell (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. New York: Wiley.

Vasc, D & Miclea, M. (2017). Age-related changes in preschoolers’ ability to communicate using iconic gestures in the absence of speech. Early Child Development and Care

Ionescu, T. & Vasc, D. (2014). Embodied cognition: Challenges for psychology and education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences (128) 275-280.

Vasc, D. & Ionescu, T. (2013). Embodying cognition: gestures and their role in the development of  thinking. Cognition, brain, behavior: an interdisciplinary journal. 17 (2) 149-169.


2019: Thrive teaching grant offered by the UVA Center for Teaching Excellence.

2013: Stipendienurkunde/Scholarship for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists, awarded by DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service). Duration: 4 months.

2013: Doctoral grant awarded by the Max Planck Society, for conducting studies at the Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Duration: 2 months.