BYU senior Anthony Bennett was recently published in a peer reviewed scientific journal for the fourth time as an undergraduate.
Bennett first became involved in research as a freshman when he changed his major from chemistry to mechanical engineering. He needed an innovation credit and his professor Brad Bundy said doing a research lab would count.
“I got into Dr. Bundy’s lab, and my first semester of this research credit he asked me to help them write this research paper,” Bennett said. “I had never done a lot of writing before.”
Bennett went on to co-author four research papers in Bundy’s lab. This included two review papers and two papers based on the research conducted in the lab.
Bennett said being involved in this lab has helped him become more proficient in research methods, which saved him a lot of time. He also said being a published research author opens up a lot of options for him.
“Having the papers definitely helps getting into graduate school, or getting different fellowships and things like that,” Bennett said. “If people have the chance to be a co-author in a lab they should definitely take it.”
Bundy said Bennett has been a hard worker throughout the lab.
“Anthony’s great and it has been a lot of fun,” Bundy said. “He’s inquisitive, outgoing and responsible.”
Mark Smith, BYU graduate and former head graduate student of Bundy’s lab, said his first impression of Bennett was that he was an all-star.
“He went out and really nailed down a lot of the technical information we needed to write the review,” Smith said. “Anthony is easygoing, but when it’s time to put his head down, he’s rock solid.”
Smith was the head author on all of Bennett’s publications. He said he was very happy to have Bennett’s name on those papers.
“He earned it everyday,” Smith said.
Bundy said that students should become involved in research and writing.
“I think it’s very important to help undergraduates become authors on peer-reviewed scientific publications,” Bundy said. “It’s a way for the undergraduate who makes a significant contribution to show that they in fact didn’t just (fool) around, but actually contributed to the generation of that scientific work.”
Bundy said doing research is especially important for students who want to go on to graduate school or professional school after earning their bachelor’s degree. He said students should get involved within their departments.
“I would strongly encourage students to learn about the faculty they know in their departments and if they do research,” Bundy said. “If there’s something that really piques their interest, they should talk to that faculty member to see how they can get involved.”
Bennett gave his advice for students who want to become authors. He said getting involved with labs is the biggest thing, and to actually talk to the professors who have labs, not to email them. He also said students should not get discouraged if they don’t get accepted into the lab they want.
“Keep on going for it and keep your options open,” Bennett said. “There are a lot of opportunities.”
Bennett will graduate in April. He said he would like to work as a chemical engineer for a big company and wants to continue writing in the future.