PNI Celebrates Class Day with Seniors

Photo of PNI Seniors 2022

(photo credit Tori Repp)

The Princeton Neuroscience Institute celebrated thirty-seven Neuroscience concentrators during the annual Class Day Ceremony on May 23rd. The event, held in-person for the first time in two years, recognized graduating seniors for their academic honors and outstanding senior theses. This was the largest class of graduating neuroscience students since the program graduated the first students in the program in 2017.

During the awards presentations, the following students were awarded The John Brinster, Class of 1943, Senior Thesis Prize.  Thanks to the generosity of Mr. John Brinster and the Class of 1943, this award is given each year to the most outstanding senior theses in the field of neuroscience.  This year’s recipients were:

Ines Aitsahalia – Senior Thesis Title: Controllability Priors Modulating Over- and Under-Segmentation of Latent Causes in Fear Conditioning. Her advisor Prof. Yael Niv wrote “Ines’ thesis encompasses computational modeling and simulation work that is really postdoc-level work, to designing, running and analyzing an experiment aimed to test a deeply theoretical question about fear conditioning and generalization”

Ines will attend graduate school in the fall at Columbia University. Ines will be funded by an NSF fellowship that was based on her senior thesis work.

Photo of Ines Aitsahalia

Ines Aitsahalia (photo credit Tori Repp)

Olivia Timmermans – Senior Thesis Title: Investigating the Role of Androgen Receptor Expression in the Ventral Premammillary Nucleus for Hierarchy Maintenance.  Her advisor Prof. Annegret Falkner wrote “Olivia did an outstanding and creative thesis project where she explored the behaviors that animals of both sexes use to maintain social dominance hierarchies, and then explored the necessity for an androgenic mechanism in a hypothalamic node called the PMv in the maintenance of these hierarchies.”

Photo of Olivia Timmermans

Olivia Timmermans (photo credit Tori Repp)

Departmental honors are awarded at Class Day by academic departments with concentration programs. Neuroscience honors are determined based on the grades received by the student in departmental studies (including junior independent work, the senior thesis, and the senior departmental examination).


  • Ines Aitsahalia
  • Austin Chang
  • Sidney Gregorek
  • Sharon Powley
  • Olivia Timmermans

High Honors

  • Fabiola Corral
  • Katherine Kaplan
  • Grace Simmons
  • Kamron Soldozy

Highest Honors

  • Sofiya Yusina
  • Mayowa Oke
  • Megan Tang