Springfield hosts 70th ECSC Meeting Saturday, April 2nd
The Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC) is an association of primarily undergraduate colleges and universities that provides a forum for undergraduate students in science and engineering to present their research. The main function of the organization is to stimulate interest in undergraduate research in the sciences and related fields, and to provide a lively forum for the presentation of research papers.
Students and their advisors may attend; and students may present their research findings in platform or poster presentations, or as full-length papers. In recent years, student awards have been given for presentations in each of the modes.
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 presentation 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 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 who was succeeded by Professor Michael Kotarski in 2008 and presently by Professor Donald Sterns.
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 science and behavioral and social sciences, as well as the original areas of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering.