Eastern Colleges Science Conference
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The first Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC) was organized in 1947 by undergraduate Pauline Newman at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The aim then, as now, was to stimulate interest in undergraduate research in the sciences and related fields and to provide a lively forum for the presentaion of research papers. Pauline Newman received her bachelor's degree in chemistry and went on to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale. About 22 schools attended the first conference, and the theme was "Science, Philosophy and Society."
The constitution of the ECSC was ratified on April 24, 1948 at Union College in Schenectady NY, making the conference a self-sustaining body.
In 1972 the Pennsylvania State University was named the repository for all official documents of the ECSC. Professor Stanley Shepherd was named the permanent secretary of ECSC. In 1980 Professor Shepherd stepped down and Professor Gerard O'Leary from Providence College was elected to the post. At the 35th annual conference a steering committee was established to assist in directing the activities of the ECSC.
In 1983 the ECSC was incorporated in Rhode Island and now operates with a Board of Directors, elected from faculty of the participating colleges and universities. In 1986 Professor Gerard O'Leary stepped down, and Professor Edward Gabriel of Lycoming College was elected Chair of ECSC. In 1995 Dr. Gabriel was succeeded by Professor Lance Evans of Manhattan College.
Over the years interest has increased in the conference and over 50 colleges and universities have attended this annual event. Over time the range of subject matter has also expanded and now covers computer scince and behavioral and social sciences, as well as the original areas of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering.