Maggie Pecsok '14 Wins Top Undergraduate Prize at Princeton University

Maggie Pecsok, who graduated from Norfolk Academy in 2014, has been named a co-winner of Princeton University’s 2018 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate.

Pecsok, the daughter of Drs. Tom and Ella Pecsok of Virginia Beach, is concentrating in psychology and pursuing a certificate in cognitive science. The Pyne Honor Prize, established in 1921, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. The prize has been won by a list of luminaries, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Pecsok shared the Pyne Prize with John “Newby” Parton of McMinnville, Tennessee.

In a Feb. 20 news release from Princeton, Ms. Pecsok’s thesis advisor, Sabine Kastner, professor of psychology, said, “Maggie is the most outstanding undergraduate student that I have had the privilege to mentor and teach in my (almost) 18 years at Princeton. In her junior paper and senior thesis, she has worked on exploring the behavioral and neural bases of neurodevelopmental disorders such as dyslexia, attentional deficit disorder or dyspraxia. Many of us have witnessed Maggie’s beautiful service in the name of humanity, trying to make the world a better place for children who struggle.”

While at Norfolk Academy, Ms. Pecsok was a high-flyer, quite literally; she starred as Peter Pan in the school’s musical production of that name, and at graduation, was awarded the musical theater award and the Elizabeth Parker Reynolds Senior Science Award. She has continued to climb the heights, as a member of Princeton's climbing team and a member of Peak Potential Princeton, a community service climbing program for children with disabilities.

For more details, read the Princeton University article.