New Sci-Tech building to come

Graduate Biology program ranked
Yearbook cover art special this year
Pottery sale scheduled this week
Science on Tap set Dec. 1

Choral performance scheduled


Guitar Ensemble concert set Dec. 1
Southeastern receives literacy grant
Associate professor receives honor
Student revitalizes farmers market

CSD represented at fundraiser


De Noux authors new mystery novel
Let's Talk Art scheculed Dec. 2

Southeastern in the news
This Week in Athletics
Professional Activities



Science and Technology building groundbreaking

Southeastern breaks ground for new science-technology building

With the demolished remnants of a former dormitory and office building in the background, Southeastern officials and other guests broke ground Friday morning (Nov. 20) to initiate construction of a new computer science and technology building.
     The 70,000 square foot building will be built on the southeast corner of the campus at North Oak and Dakota streets. The $24.4 million facility is being funded through state Capital Outlay funds; no university operating funds will be used in construction.
     The building will be constructed on the site of Southeastern Hall, a former dormitory and office building that was built in 1948, and an adjacent parking lot.
     “This is a transformational project for Southeastern for a number of reasons, including workforce development as we continue to evolve the university to fulfill our mission of serving our region,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “This is a well-planned facility that will be staffed by highly specialized faculty teaching and mentoring a growing number of students in these technical areas.”
     He added that the new structure, along with the park area being developed across the street and a new parking lot, will create an inviting and impressive new visual entrance to the university along a highly traversed route from the interstate to campus.
     “Occupational forecasts indicate there are thousands and thousands of STEM-related jobs that need to be filled right here in Louisiana,” said Rep. Chris Broadwater, who was instrumental in shepherding the building project through the state’s Capital Outlay process. “If we don’t have the capacity to train these workers to fill these jobs, these students will leave the state.”
     He added that the building will be important as well for Northshore Community and Technical College. Through partnerships, NTCC students will have access to the excellent programs and facility should they chose to transfer to Southeastern.
     Randy Moffett, former president of Southeastern and the University of Louisiana System, said the new building is the result of a long-term vision developed by a lot of people over a number of years.
     “It has the potential to be the cornerstone of Louisiana higher education on the Northshore,” he added.
     The project has been in the development stages since 2007. Total construction time is estimated at 17 months, making the facility possibly ready for the fall 2017 semester. The three-story facility will house components of several programs, including computer science, information technology, engineering technology, industrial technology, and occupational, safety, health and environment program.
     In addition to faculty offices and technology-rich classrooms, the building will have specialty labs for computer science, engineering and industrial technology, material testing, machine and manufacturing, automation and robotics, industrial hygiene and fire protection, electronics and drafting.
     Architects for the project are Holly and Smith Architects of Hammond; general contractor is Percy Matherne Contractors, Inc. of Baton Rouge.
BREAKING GROUND AT SOUTHEASTERN – Participating in the groundbreaking with gold shovels marking the start of construction of Southeastern’s new Computer Science and Technology building are, front row from left, Vice President for Administration and Finance Sam Domiano, Chancellor William Wainwright of Northshore Technical Community College, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tammy Bourg, former President Randy Moffett, architect Jeffrey Smith, President John L. Crain, Rep. Chris Broadwater, Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto, Rep. Steve Pugh, Don Matherne of Percy Matherne Construction, Facility Planning Director Ken Howe, Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dan McCarthy, Professor of Computer Science Cris Koutsougeras, and Interim Head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology Lu Yuan. Also pictured are members of the faculty and others involved in the project.

Southeastern graduate biology program ranked 6th in nation 
Southeastern’s graduate program in biological sciences was ranked sixth in the nation in the fall Biology Grad Rankings posted by the website
     Southeastern was the only institution from Louisiana included in the listing of the top 25 biology graduate programs in the country.
     Among the 15 categories reviewed were academic competitiveness, affordability of living, campus safety, career support, education quality and faculty accessibility and support. Southeastern’s ranking is above Yale and Harvard, putting it in good company with Duke, Carnegie Mellon and Tufts University to round out the top tier of rated schools.
     “This is a testimony to the quality and commitment of our faculty, many of whom are internationally celebrated biologists,” said Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dan McCarthy. “The master’s program in biology draws graduate students from throughout the country, and when they graduate from here, they are typically placed in some of the strongest doctoral programs for further study.”
     The rankings were based on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduate students with a requirement that a minimum threshold of student surveys are completed. More than 75,000 students in 1,600 programs participated in the review process.
     A sample of student comments from the Southeastern review included:
     -- “There are great people present in the program and staff members that sincerely want to see you succeed.”
     -- “I believe SLU offers a great mix of diverse faculty and some excellent mentors who truly seek to help students succeed in what they do.”
      “Our graduate students receive outstanding and individualized training,” said Chris Beachy, head of the Department of Biological Sciences. “Our graduate faculty has outstanding publishing success in professional journals, they obtain external funding from nationally competitive sources like the National Science Foundation, and they are recognized and honored for their career work by various specialist organizations.”

Biology graduate program ranked

Southeastern Ceramics Club holds pottery sale Nov. 30 - Dec. 1
Just in time for holiday gift-giving, the Southeastern Ceramics Club will hold its annual pottery sale Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union.
     The club was organized to help Southeastern students sell and promote their work.
     For more information, call 549-2193.

The Australian Tropics next topic at Southeastern Science on Tap presentation
Australia, by far, has the highest number of reptile species of any country in the world, according to Southeastern Instructor of Biology Sean Doody.
     “Even when we consider Australia a continent, Africa, which is four times the size of Australia, has less than twice the number of reptile species,” Doody said.
     Doody will present “The (Thorny) Devil Made Me Do It: 20 Years in the Australian Tropics” as the next Science on Tap Presentation on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tope Lá Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond, the lecture is free and open to all ages.
     According to Doody, the presentation will track one person’s reptile-driven passion for complete immersion into the animal communities of tropical Australia.
     “This is a research journey into remarkable reptiles across tropical Australia, exposing novel natural histories of lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodiles, and a few less interesting groups, such as birds and mammals,” Doody explained. “It will reveal the raw beauty and diversity of Australian landscapes and cultures and the challenges and dangers of working in remote places.”
     Doody said the lecture will cover a breadth of scientific topics, including ecology, evolution, behavior, physiology, biogeography, community ecology, and the biology of invasive species. It will also highlight discoveries of reptiles’ evolutionary solutions to problems presented by their environment and by their predators and prey.
     For information on future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 549-3740.

Southeastern Guitar Ensemble to present fall concert
The Southeastern Guitar Ensemble, directed by Instructor Patrick Kerber, will perform its fall concert on Dec.1, at 7:30 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium.
     The free program will feature music for guitar duo, guitar trio, guitar with trumpet, two guitars and voice, and the full ensemble of 10 guitars.
     “This will be a typical guitar ensemble concert that will present music in fairly atypical formats,” Kerber said. “It will be a ‘something for everyone’ program with music from the German Renaissance, to the Spanish Romantic repertoire, to arrangements of South American folk songs, Central American guitar music, and American jazz.”  
     The concert will feature guest artists Austin Dugas-Higdon on trumpet, who will perform Ray Noble’s jazz standard “Cherokee” with guitarist Ken Turner. Soprano Stephanie Arledge will perform two Spanish art songs: Enrique Granados’ “El tra la la,”and Manuel de Falla’s “Asturiana” with guitarists Blake Guidry and Brandi Callais. The songs were arranged for Blake Guidry.
     For more information call 549-2886, or email Kerber at

Grant from Dollar General to aid Southeastern literacy program
Southeastern has received a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support a youth literacy program.
     The $4,000 grant will help support Project Roar (“Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes toward Reading”), a program for middle-school children that is sponsored by the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning.
     This is the second year for the program, explained Gerlinde Beckers, assistant professor of education and coordinator of the project, which provides and expands literacy intervention for children attending high-poverty schools.
     Beckers said Project Roar coordinates book clubs guided by university pre-service teacher candidates who are enrolled in undergraduate adolescent literature courses.
     “For Southeastern students, this is an ideal real-world ready service learning project. They are able to learn exactly what is taught in their coursework through a practical, hands-on experience with middle school students,” Beckers said.
     Approximately 40-60 students will be able to participate and utilize Kindles made available for the book club. The one-day per week program is held at the Hammond Community Center after-school program through Project LION (“Learning in our Neighborhood”). Project LION is a community partnership sponsored by the Entergy Charitable Foundation through an additional grant to Beckers.
     “For adolescents to become more proficient readers, they must read and read a lot,” she explained. “This is a way that we can combat the trend of declining reading among this age group and address issues of reading engagement and motivation.”
     Project Roar’s second year is expected to build on the successes of last year by increasing the number of Kindles and ebooks. For more information, contact Beckers at 549-3030.
     The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports initiatives designed to enhance literacy and education projects. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.
 Dollar General literacy grant
PROJECT ROAR IN ACTION – Hammond public school students, from left, Demetri Anderson, Quastavia Dunn and Ayaea Rose practice their reading while Southeastern graduate student Brandy Siears of Gonzales and Dru Willis, a junior from Slidell, monitor their progress. Dollar General Literacy Foundation contributed $4,000 to the after school literacy project, in which Southeastern education students work closely with area middle school students on improving their reading abilities.

Graduate student helps revitalize farmers market
When Ashton Herron was an undergraduate student in sociology at Southeastern, her interest in environmental sociology – including the important role locally produced food could play in a community – began to spark.
     So when the opportunity to see what a local food system looks like from “seed to table,” Herron jumped at the opportunity to participate in an internship with Vintage Garden Farm, a program of ARC Enterprises in New Orleans.
     David Burley, associate professor of sociology, works to connect students with internship opportunities. He meets with the students and checks their grades and work ethic before partnering them with organizations that can increase their work and networking experience. The effort fits in with Southeastern’s efforts designed to enhance students’ academic experiences through internships and other partnerships with businesses and organizations.
     Burley selected Herron to participate in the program because of her “incredible work ethic and passion about social justice issues.”
     While working with ARC Enterprises, Herron said that initial spark of interest grew stronger, and soon, she says, “I was like a freshly lit firecracker. I learned so much from the experience, such as how food is grown, processed and delivered to the consumer. It was a tremendous experience.”
     Now Herron is assisting Burley in aiding other students who are seeking similar opportunities, both in Louisiana and out of state.
     The experience gave her the background to apply for the open position of manager of the Hammond Farmer’s Market.
     “The city was looking for a market manager, and I knew Ashton would be a perfect fit for the position,” said Burley.
     A native of Central and now a graduate student in Southeastern’s Applied Sociology program, Herron is now working as manager of the market. In her brief time at the market, she has enhanced it to create a weekly congregation of farmers, artists and other vendors. What was once a gathering of only a handful of vendors, the market now has over 25 participating vendors on any given weekend.
     Terry Lynn Smith, retired director of the Hammond Downtown Development District and founder of the market, commends Herron for the effort and success of the market, saying “Ashton keeps the market organized and managed. She is fair and sincere with all the vendors.”
     “Ashton turned the Hammond Farmers Market around, from a really struggling venture to an enterprise that could rival any in the state,” adds Burley.
     Herron is looking forward to the day when the market has a permanent facility in Hammond as opposed to its current location along the railroad tracks.
     “This is now in the planning phase and would enable us to provide our community with farm fresh produce, plants, food, art and much more,” she said.
Farmers Market
MAKING THE ROUNDS – Southeastern graduate student Ashton Herron makes her early morning rounds at the Hammond Farmers Market on a recent Saturday morning. Herron has been credited with revitalizing the market and attracting an increasing number of vendors, as well as visitors to the weekly event.


LeSouvenir cover art

Southeastern’s 2015 yearbook cover art holds special meaning
Southeastern’s 2015 edition of “Le Souvenir,” the university’s annual student yearbook, holds special meaning for a recent graduate and his family.
     As the final deadline to turn in artwork for the 2015 yearbook approached, Editor-in-Chief Fernanda Chagas faced a challenge. Although Chagas, a senior graphic design and printmaking major from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, knew she wanted a graphic of the Southeastern mascot – a lion – on the cover of the annual, none of the designs met her expectations.
     “My initial idea for the cover was to have an illustrated lion,” Chagas said. “We haven’t had a lion on the cover for a while, and I wanted to create something that would stand out. I tried creating several versions, and none seemed right.”
     Then Chagas had a conversation with friend Lisa Kirk of Abita Springs, which turned everything around.
     “When I learned that Fernanda was looking for a lion, I knew I had one that my son Jeffery Lynn had drawn,” said Kirk. “I didn’t know if she would use it, but I said, ‘If you want it, it’s yours.’ It was like it was meant to be. It was fate.”
     The Lion artwork was drawn by Jeffery (“Lynn” - as his family calls him) Kirk, the deceased son of Lisa and her husband Southeastern graduate Peter Kirk, and brother of Southeastern alumnus Benjamin Kirk.
     Chagas said the artwork was perfect and exactly what she had envisioned for the cover.
     “The theme of the yearbook is memories, which made the cover even more special. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to use this illustration,” Chagas said. “It was the last piece of the puzzle I’ve been working on for the past year.”
     When the time came for the Kirks’ children to attend college, their eldest son Lynn knew he wanted to enter military service first. He enlisted in the Marine Corps a few months shortly after his high school graduation.
     Lynn Kirk not only excelled in the military, but also in art. Although he had never received formal art training, according to his mother, he often created designs for t-shirts or tattoos at the request of his follow soldiers.
     After serving his first tour in the Middle East, Lynn Kirk volunteered for a second tour of duty. His mother said even after being wounded in action in Fallujah, he opted to stay with his unit rather than coming home. In the fall of 2004, he and five fellow Marines were killed in a firefight with enemy combatants. For his valor and gallantry in combat, he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster.
     In his honor, the Kirk family purchased a commemorative brick sponsored by the Southeastern Foundation. The brick bearing Jeffery Lynn’s name now rests with others in the patio overlooking Friendship Oak.
     Kirk’s younger brother Benjamin graduated from Southeastern this past May with a degree in accounting and is currently employed in the Northshore area. With his brother’s artwork featured on the cover of the yearbook, Benjamin Kirk now has deeper connections with the university.
     “It took on a new meaning for me to see the artwork on my senior yearbook,” said Benjamin Kirk. “It made me feel proud to know that I’ll be able to look at it in the future, and it will have the good memories of my college experience and of my brother.”

MEMORABLE ARTWORK – A lion drawn by Jeffery Lynn Kirk, a decorated veteran and the deceased son and brother of Southeastern alumni, adorns the cover of the 2015 “LeSouvenir,” the university’s annual student yearbook. With a theme of “Memories,” this year’s annual features original cover art with special meaning to the university family. Every Southeastern student is entitled to a copy, which can be picked up at the Student Union, suite 1303, during regular university hours.

Alissa Rowe

Southeastern choirs to join Northshore Choral Society for performance Dec. 6
The Southeastern Chorus, Concert Choir and Women’s Chorale will join the Northshore Choral Society for a performance at St. Joseph’s Abbey in St. Benedict near Covington on Dec. 6.
     Sponsored by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, the free performance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Conductors include Southeastern Director of the University Chorus/Northshore Chorale Brian Martinez and Director of Choral Activities Alissa Mercurio Rowe, who will direct choirs with the assistance of several student conductors.
     “The individuals associated with the University Chorus, the Northshore Choral Society and the Women’s Chorale and Concert Choir have dedicated many hours of work and rehearsal time preparing for this major undertaking,” said Rowe. “We believe our audience will be thrilled and inspired by this performance.”
     The concert begins with the University Chorus and Northshore Choral, under conductor Martinez, performing “Carol of the Bells” arranged by Peter Wilhousky and “Away in a Manager” arranged by Ola Gjeilo. The Women’s Chorale, with undergraduate student Nicholas Smith of Ponchatoula conducting, will perform “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” arranged by Lara Hoggard, and “Silent Night.”
     Rowe said the event will also feature the Concert Choir performing a new piece titled “Daughter of Light,” written by undergraduate student Michelle Guillot of Slidell.
     Rowe will conduct the Concert Choir as they sing “Welcome All Wonders” and “A Boy Was Born.” Both songs are from “Nativity Suite" by Dale Warland and are accompanied by harp and flute. Martinez will conduct the University Chorus and the Northshore Choral Society in a performance that features “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” arranged by Elizabeth Poston, “Ubi Caritas” arranged by Martinez himself, and “Noel Nouvelet” arranged by Richard Zgodava.
     For their finish, the University Chorus and Northshore Choral will be led by Martinez in Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” a piece composed in Venice around 1715, likely for a Christmas mass. Various sections of the Gloria will include solo performances by Southeastern students, including “Laudamus te” with sopranos Lauren Gibson of Walker and Rachel Davis of Mandeville; “Gratias agimus tibi,” with graduate coordinator Amy Prats of Abita Springs; “Propter magnam gloriam Domine Deus” with soprano Sara Cage of Baton Rouge; “Domine deus, Agnus Dei,” with mezzo-soprano Rachel Denton of Houma; and “Qui sedes a dexteram Patris” with mezzo-soprano Jane Rownd Wear of Hammond.
     For more information on the concert, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 549-2184.

Southeastern associate professor receives honor
Paula CurrieSoutheastern Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Paula Currie was recently honored as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at its annual convention held in November in Denver.
     The fellowship is one of the highest honors the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association bestows. To be awarded a fellow, the individual must have made outstanding contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.
     Currie was recognized for her contributions in three areas: clinical education and academic training in speech-language pathology, audiology, speech-language-hearing sciences and related areas; service to and leadership positions in state speech-language-hearing associations and/or other related local, regional, national or international professional organizations; and administrative services in the area of speech-language pathology, audiology and speech-language-hearing sciences.
      “We are proud of Paula’s recognition as a national leader. As a faculty member, she facilitates quality courses that are innovative, high impact and rigorous,” said Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Carruth. “Perhaps the greatest example of her excellence as an educator is that students view her as a mentor and continue to seek her guidance long after they graduate.”
     Currie began her career at Southeastern in 1991 and, over the years, has served as the department head and program director for Communication Sciences and Disorders and the assistant dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology; a Louisiana license in speech pathology, and is a certified LSVT LOUD clinician.
     A resident of Ponchatoula, her areas of interest include the scholarship of teaching and learning and working with adults who have developmental communication disorders.

CSD students represent

CSD represented at fundraiser 
Southeastern’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program (CSD) was represented at a recent fundraiser called Disable the Label for Launch, a non-profit that provides therapeutic services for children with developmental disabilities.
     Launch was recently founded by Dr. Chantelle Varnado, an alumnus from Southeastern’s undergraduate and graduate CSD programs.
     Meghan Savage, assistant professor in CSD, recruited CSD students to direct and play carnival games with the children in attendance. One student came dressed as Cinderella to take pictures with the kids. Dr. Varnado said they had a great time and appreciate Southeastern’s participation.

De Noux authors new murder mystery
Southeastern police detective O’Neil De Noux has released his latest police novel, “The Long Cold,” a tale involving the New Orleans Mafia scene.
     “The Long Cold” tells the story of a 30-year old murder case of a 14-year-old girl that had been long forgotten except by her cousin, the daughter of the boss of the New Orleans Mafia. She approaches for help one of De Noux’s favorite characters, private detective and former New Orleans Police Department homicide detective Dino LaStanza. LaStanza has tangled with the Mafia before, and it didn’t end well, so he declined the offer to investigate the case.
     When additional facts come to light regarding his family’s connection to the murdered girl, LaStanza takes on the dangerous investigation of the long dormant murder case.
     The book is the latest of an eight-book series featuring detective LaStanza.  A resident of Covington and an investigator with Southeastern’s police department, De Noux has served with the sheriff’s offices in Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. He has also worked as a private investigator, criminal intelligence analyst and creative writing instructor. He has received several awards, including the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award, the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Derringer Award and the 2011 Best Police Book of the Year by
     Cover art for “The Long Cold” was created by De Noux’s daughter, Dana De Noux, a 2014 graduate of Southeastern’s art program. The book is published by Big Kiss Productions and is available through Amazon or via email at

Art Series concludes with art of the Nativity
The final lecture in the fall “Let’s Talk: Art” series, sponsored jointly by Southeastern’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts, the Hammond Regional Arts Center, and the Friends of Sims Library, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. at St. Albert Catholic Student Center, 409 West Dakota Street.  
     Dr. Timothy Silva, instructor in Art History, will present “From the Church Wall to Under the Tree: Images of the Nativity through the Ages.”
     The talk is a discussion of art and popular devotional objects depicting the birth of Christ, from fourth-century origins to today’s Nativity scenes found under the Christmas tree. Included will be Renaissance altar pieces, the Sacre Monte, and Neopolitan creches, all visual representations of the story of the birth of Christ.


Drs. Fotie and Sommerfeld (Chemistry and Physics) took seven students to the joint 71st Southwest and 67th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Memphis Nov. 4-7. These students presented three individual posters, and Dr. Sommerfeld, who was an invited speaker, gave an oral presentation entitled: “Visualizing the Nonvalence Character of Excess Electrons.”
     Kathleen Campbell (Educational Leadership and Technology) presented “A Comparison of Internships among Louisiana University Principal Preparation Programs,” co-authored by Randy Parker of Louisiana Tech University, and “What Factors Motivate Teachers to Become School Administrators?,” co-authored by Nan Adams (Educational Leadership and Technology) at the Mid-South Educational Research Association's annual conference in Lafayette Nov. 4-6.
     James Kirylo (Teaching and Learning) organized and participated in a keynote panel discussion for the Mid-South Educational Research Association, attended by more than 200 conference attendees. The keynote panel discussion focused on the state of higher education in the state of Louisiana and beyond. Members of the panel included Faculty Senate presidents James Kirylo, Southeastern; Kevin Cope, LSU; V. Menon, McNeese; Sonya Hester, Southern in Shreveport; L. Deaton, ULL;  and B. Salvadore, LSU in Shreveport.

     Kathleen Campbell (Educational Leadership and Technology) presented “Who’s Running the Schools?,” co-authored by Nan Adams, (Educational Leadership and Technology) at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research in Boca Raton, Fla., Nov. 13 and 14.
     William B. Robison (History and Political Science) presented a lecture on “The Political Use and Abuse of History” to the Amite Rotary Club on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and a lecture on “Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, and Wizards: Popular Superstition in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe” at the Hammond Branch of the Tangipahoa Parish Library on Thursday, Nov. 19.
     Dr. Hye-Young Kim (Physics) and two physics students, Bijay Shrestha and Binaya Bajgain, gave two poster presentations at the 2015 Southeast Regional IDeA Meeting held at Biloxi, Nov. 11-13, titled “Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of VECAR in water: Data Analysis” and “The Role of Bolaamphiphilic Character in Self-Assembly of VECAR Molecules: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study.”
     Mr. Michael Ruybalid (Teaching and Learning) presented a session on early childhood music at the annual Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) professional development conference Nov. 19-23 in Baton Rouge. The session was similar to one presented at a regional music conference this past October in Wichita, Kan. Several music education students from Southeastern were in attendance, along with music educators from across the state.

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