Stephen Bennett
Bell Scholar Intern 

Bell Intern Stephen BennettNearing the end of his third year of his Bachelor of Science in honours physics with a minor in mathematics, Stephen Bennett is clear about his interests: physics, music, and education.

He’s also clear on his reasons for pursuing his current position as Bell Scholar intern.

“I wanted to integrate myself into the Bell network and work to bridge the gap between Bell Scholars, the Bell committee, and Bell alumni,” says Bennett.

He says he has learned organizational and event co-ordinating skills, as well as how to develop and maintain professional relationships with supervisors.

An intern since late August, Bennett helps to coordinate Bell events. That began with organizing an orientation for incoming Bell Scholars and pairing them with upper-year Bell student mentors. Other events include the annual Bell Reception for all Bell Scholars, plus committee members, and more casual get-togethers. He promotes Bell Scholars’ activities, arranges speaking engagements by Bell Scholars at their local high schools, and also contacts prospective Bell Scholars for interviews.

Bennett says he chose Mount Allison because he felt his interdisciplinary interests would be encouraged. Today he plays play drums in the Mount A Jazz Ensemble and for Conduct Becoming — a musical organization that produces an annual record to showcase the musical talents of members of the Mount Allison community with all funds going to the Cancer Research Society of Canada.

“Playing in the Jazz Ensemble and Conduct Becoming has allowed me to offer my musical abilities to the community and pushed me to become a better musician,” says Bennett.

Bennett also tutors high school students in physics, both as a way to explore a career in education and to give back to his community.

“Sparking an interest in physics for a new generation of students is a goal of mine and I feel as though high school is a fantastic place to start,” he says.

He’s also a summer research assistant at the university and has secured over $14,000 in grants from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund his research on trace-element detection using x-ray fluorescence. He has already presented at national conferences and is co-author on a scientific paper published in the journal for the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

Bennett says he is pleased that his first instincts about Mount Allison and its interdisciplinary attitude were correct.

“I think being able to integrate myself into both the physics and music departments has been the best part of my Mount A experience thus far. I thoroughly enjoy being able to diversify my interests as much as possible and being able to get to know lots of different people who are involved with different things,” he says.