Outstanding Academic Internship Achievement Award recipients named

Kendra Gillenwater

BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan College hosted their annual Academic and Leadership Awards Assembly on April 14. During the ceremony, the Student Success Center awarded three women the Outstanding Academic Internship Achievement Award. The accolade was bestowed upon graduating seniors Abigail “Abby” Buchan, Kendra Gillenwater and Melissa Guydish.

The recipients for this award were selected from a pool of faculty-nominated students who have completed an academic internship for credit during the previous May and Summer terms or the current academic calendar year. The award recipients were selected based on their skills and abilities during their internships to clearly apply knowledge from academic courses, to demonstrate personal development and growth, and to connect to the greater institutional mission. Based on the recipients’ work they bought honor, prestige and pride to Wesleyan.

Abigail “Abby” Buchan was recommended for this award because of her internship with the U.S. Department of Defense.

A tough position to land without knowing the right contacts, Buchan’s research on Africa, as well as her semester study abroad last year in Morocco, helped her be the only woman selected for this particular AFRICOM internship. Buchan is majoring in international studies with a concentration in African studies, while minoring in history and political science. She is interested in researching and writing about AFRICOM’s role in defense, diplomacy, and development.

Kendra Gillenwater received this award because of her work this past semester at West Virginia’s capitol. Through her internship with ACLU, Gillenwater spoke with state legislators about the education bill, criminal justice reform, and protections for the LGBTQ community. Gillenwater is majoring in political science while minoring in multi-cultural studies and Spanish. After graduation, she is moving to Pittsburgh to start a position as an account manager at Insight Global and eventually hopes to attend law school.

Abigail Buchan

Melissa Guydish was the final recipient for this award for her internship with Water Planet USA in Panama, Florida. Guydish worked with wild dolphins to create a positive therapeutic environment for children with developmental disabilities. Her work helped the children work on communication skills and interacting with people and animals. After graduation in May, she will return to Water Planet USA for another summer.

This is the third year the Student Success Center presented the Outstanding Academic Internship Achievement Award.

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