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Undergraduate Gwen Yetter honored with Cooperative Education Student Achievement Award

19 April 2022
Gwen Yetter

Gwen Yetter, a member of the Science B.S./M.B.A. integrated degree program at Penn State, was awarded the Cooperative Education Student Achievement Award by the Cooperative Education Internship Association. The award recognizes an undergraduate student for their outstanding achievement during a cooperative or internship experience and was presented at the 2022 CEIA National Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, in April. Yetter was selected for her most recent internship experience at Merck & Co.

Yetter previously interned with the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co during the summer of 2020, and she was excited to return to the company. 

“I was ultimately offered a position on the benefits and well-being team, which is something I’m very passionate about,” said Yetter. 

During her internship, 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 one 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.

“I felt prepared to take on the experience thanks to the personal and professional skills I developed at Penn State,” she said. “This role required me to take creative liberty and merge my passion with my ability to communicate and connect with individuals!”

Yetter also received a 2021 Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) JoAnne Day Student of the Year Award in the business category for this experience.

In addition to participating in the accelerated B.S./M.B.A. program, Yetter is double majoring in biology and psychology while minoring in neuroscience. She is concentrating in marketing and supply chain management during her M.B.A. After completing her M.B.A., Yetter plans on continuing in the pharmaceutical industry in the area of vaccine or oncology marketing.

“My experience at Merck has solidified my desire to work in pharmaceuticals in the future!” she said. “I want to make a positive difference on the world through my career, and I think pharma is the perfect sector for that.”

For any students wishing to follow in her footsteps, Yetter shared the following advice: “We all have the ability to make a positive difference. Take your big idea and make it happen.”