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The Lion Shrine at the University Park campus.

Penn State student Gwenyth Yetter receives PennACE Student of the Year Award

12 January 2022
Gwen Yetter

Gwenyth Yetter, a Penn State undergraduate student double majoring in biology and psychology, has been selected to receive the 2021 Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) JoAnne Day Student of the Year Award in the business category. This award recognizes outstanding students who have completed an internship or cooperative experience in the fields of business, marketing, management, accounting, business development or strategy, or finance. Yetter was selected for her experience at Merck & Co.

During her co-op, Yetter focused on improving the company’s mental health efforts through the creation of two monthlong campaigns: one during Mental Health Awareness Month in May and the second to recognize World Mental Health Day in October. Yetter researched and analyzed over 400 digital resources to better understand and address the key mental health challenges of the Merck population. She then produced a toolkit for each campaign, which included around 60 unique resources to help improve overall wellbeing of the employees and their families.

“Not only has Gwen exceeded the goals we put in place for her, but her strong work ethic drove her to create and implement two new initiatives within our company,” said Brian Kehan and Diana Gulick, Yetter’s co-op advisors. “First, she began Mental Health Mondays, a global initiative meant to further the conversation around mental health all year long. Secondly, Gwen created a proposal on the importance of mental health storytelling in the workplace.”

While double majoring in psychology and biology, Yetter is also pursuing a minor in neuroscience and a is member of the Science BS/MBA program. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yetter held summer internships with the Hepatitis B Foundation and Merck. & Co. She then went on to pursue two full-time co-op semesters with Merck & Co. in the spring and summer of 2021. Following graduation in 2023, Yetter intends to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

PennACE recognizes students with the Student of the Year Award in honor of career development professional JoAnne Day. Day was an active member of the educational community with a passion for her craft and an incomparable commitment to her students. She passed away in March 2005 after a two-year battle with cancer. In honor of her spirit and dedication, PennACE recognizes students for their excellence in completing their internship or co-op.