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A Publication of UHD Public Affairs
May 3, 2010
Submit news items to skylinenews@uhd.edu.
TopToday at UHD.....
 
Participate in UHD's online Advisory Straw Poll on proposed new names.

Deadline for Provost candidate evaluations extended until 2 p.m.

Buy half-price tickets to annual Sports & Fitness Banquet by end of day.

Deadline extended to May 7 for seniors to volunteer for online tests and a chance to win up to $250 in gift cards.

UHD's Dragon Boat Team competed in Saturday Festival.


Take UHD's Advisory Straw Poll on proposed new names

Name Change logo

UHD has prepared an online advisory straw poll Web site on the two proposed new names for the University of Houston-Downtown -- City University and Houston City University.

Participants are asked to identify themselves as students, faculty, staff or alumni, and each person can complete one questionnaire. You can access the Web site directly at this link: 
 https://global.dt.uh.edu/eservices/uhdsurvey/?testflag=open

You can also reach the Web site via a Name Change Straw Poll icon in the upper left corner of the e-services page at this link:
  http://uonline.uhd.edu/?testflag=open

Participants are also invited to visit the Web sites of other universities to see how they've taken advantage of their "City" names and locations.

The straw poll will remain open for faculty, staff and students until 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 14. Alumni will have until 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 21, to give them time to receive notification in the upcoming issue of New Horizons.

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Deadline for Provost candidate evaluations extended until 2 p.m. today

Provost Candidate Perkins

The UHD Senior Vice President and Provost Search Advisory Committee is interested in perceptions and impressions of all candidates and is attaching an evaluation form on the recent visit of candidate Kyle Perkins from Florida International University. Please provide a rating and comments and return the form to Doug TeDuits via email at teduitsd@uhd.edu by 2 p.m. today.

In the photo above, Perkins, center, talks with College of Business Dean Don Bates, left, and Akif Uzman, right,  chairman of the Department of Natural Sciences, during his visit to the UHD campus April 28, when he met in an open session with faculty and staff. He served in FIU's College of Education as a professor of teaching and learning and was vice provost of Program Review and Assessment there from 2004 to 2009.

Before moving to FIU in 2003 as the vice provost for Budget and Operations, Perkins enjoyed a 27-year career at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. There he was associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts (1985 to 1991), led planning and budget functions for academic affairs under various titles from 1992 to 2002 and took a lead role as Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor (2002.) 

He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Union College (Barbourville, Ky.), a master's degree in linguistics from SIUC and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Michigan. For more details on his visit, visit the Provost Search page on the UHD Web site.

UHD's Provost Search Committee has been working to identify finalists for the position since longtime Provost Molly Woods announced she'll be stepping down.

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UHD's Phi Kappa Phi initiation May 4 will have record number of honor students

This year's initiation ceremony for Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium with opening remarks by UHD President Bill Flores.

More than 120 honor students - a record for UHD - have already accepted invitations to join the national honor society, which accepts students who have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA during their college careers. PKP is the nation's oldest and largest multi-disciplinary national honor society.

UHD's initiates this year are undergraduate and graduate students. Those who are graduating have the honor of donning the yellow sash during this year's May 17 commencement ceremony.

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Deadline for discounted tickets to Sports & Fitness Awards Banquet is today

Register now for the 14th Annual Sports & Fitness Awards Banquet scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 21, in UHD's Special Events Center. Register at the Student Life Center by the end of today and tickets are only $5 apiece; after today the price goes up to $10.

The annual event includes a dinner and celebration for UHD athletes who participate in UHD's numerous sports programs. An after-party is scheduled at Bamboo. Remember, no tickets are available at the door, so please purchase them early. A banquet flier is available here.

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Deadline extended for senior volunteers to take online tests and win up to $250 

UHD seniors who volunteer to take online assessment tests by May 7 have the chance to win up to $250 in gift cards. UHD's General Education Advisory committee and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness are recruiting senior volunteers to take the Computer Skills Placement (CSP) test and/or the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP).

By random drawing, every third senior who takes the CSP test will win a $25 gift card and every fifth senior who takes the MAPP will win a $25 gift card. Previously the deadline was May 5, so please let your seniors know that deadline has been extended by two days.

Three hundred students are needed for each exam. Results will be used to assess and improve the effectiveness of the University's general education program. The CSP measures basic computer skills. The MAPP measures competencies in several basic skills areas, including reading, writing and math. UHD last offered MAPP to UHD seniors in 2006 and officials hope to see improvements when 2010 scores are compared.

Interested students can get more information at http://tinyurl.com/UHDSrs. For more information, call 713-226-5594.

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences Announces Coordinators for Interdisciplinary Minors

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) has added a new minor in Film Studies, one of three Interdisciplinary Minor Programs that offer students the opportunity to explore a subject from multiple perspectives. Courses in these minors are principally taught by faculty from the Departments of Arts and Humanities, English and Social Sciences, with select course offerings from faculty in other colleges.  Program coordinators are:
 
  • Ethnic Studies -  Sharin Elkholy, assistant professor, Social Sciences
  • Film Studies  -  Chuck Jackson, assistant professor, English
  • Gender Studies - Cara Murray, assistant professor, English
Students interested in declaring a minor in these or other minors in the College - such as its newly approved minor in Creative Writing - should file a Minor Declaration Form with an advisor in the home college of their declared major.

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Student Research Conference unites students, faculty and visitors in daylong event to highlight student scholarly work

SRC Speaker

Above, UHD alumna Vedangi Sample, right, visits one of the approximately 100 research posters displayed as part of the April 30 Student Research Conference. Now a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, Sample returned to offer the keynote address. Below, Akif Uzman, chair and professor in the Department of Natural Sciences, discusses a student's poster.

SRC 2

SRC 3

Above, Glen Merrill, professor in the Department of Natural Sciences, listens to a student discuss his research poster. Below, Mary Jo Parker, director of the Scholars Academy, gets a first-hand explanation of another student research poster.
UHD team competed in weekend Buffalo Bayou Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat with Pres

UHD's Dragon Boat Team posed with UHD President Bill Flores and Houston Mayor Annise Parker May 1 during the 10th Annual Texas Dragon Boat Festival at  Allen's Landing on the banks of Buffalo Bayou.

Dragon Boat Race

Thirty dragon boat racing teams rowed furiously along Buffalo Bayou, and UHD's team, pictured above, continued its competitive tradition.

Dragon Boat Closeup

UHD's Dragon Boat Team Captain Bryan Nguyen, coordinator of graduate and international recruitment, hopes to continue and expand participation, which this year included 25 UHD staff members,  students and faculty.

Dragon Boat finish

UHD  faced competing teams from Rice University, the Houston Astros, ConocoPhillips and many other local companies and institutions. The free daylong event included entertainment, educational and cultural booths, food and games.

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UHD's Annual Student Awards Program planned for May 5

UHD's Annual Student Awards Program to acknowledge outstanding academic achievement in the various colleges is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium and in the Special Events Room. Refreshments will be served starting at 6:15 p.m.

Representatives of UHD's five colleges will give outstanding students plaques or certificates recognizing their academic achievements. Faculty are encouraged to attend to congratulate their students and meet students' families and friends.

Contact Rosemary Sanchez at 713-221-8003 or SanchezR@uhd.edu with questions on the event.

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Staff Awards celebration May 7 recognizes outstanding employees

UHD's annual Staff Awards extravaganza is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 7, in the Special Events Room.

See who wins this year's Awards for Excellence and Fun Awards in a celebration that will feature food and door prizes. Please wear your UHD Service pins to show how many years of service you have earned. For more information, visit the Staff Council Web site or click on the attached flier.

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Prospective students and their parents attended UHD Northwest Open House

Open House 1

UHD hosted dozens of prospective students and their family members April 29 during its UHD Northwest Open House at the Lone Star campus at State Highway 249 and Louetta. Several faculty, staff and students set up information booths to welcome visitors. Food, entertainment and games also combined to provide a party atmosphere for the event, which included a visit from KRBE-FM (104.1) radio personality Special K.

249 Open House 2

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Academic Assessment adds additional AIM Reviewer Training sessions

The Office of Academic Assessment has added two  Assessment Information Management (AIM) Reviewer Training sessions on Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7, in addition to its remaining "Closing the Loop" sessions on May 4 and May 18.

These sessions are open to faculty, department assessment coordinators, deans and department chairs. Register for assessment training at the links below. For questions or to schedule individual sessions, please call 713-226-5594. Upcoming sessions include:
  • Closing the Loop
    3 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 4, N-1099
    9 to 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 18, N-1099. Register here.
  • AIM Reviewer Training, both sessions set for Room A-717
    3:30 to 4:15 p.m., Thursday, May 6
    9 to 9:45 a.m., Friday, May 7. Register here.
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Office of Community Engagement offers  two scholarships for 2010-2011

The Office of Community Engagement is offering two $1,000 scholarships during the fall and spring 2010-2011 semesters.

These scholarships are given in memory of Hussain Begum (1921-1974), a woman who  exemplified community engagement. A story on her life and accomplishments is attached. The requirements for each scholarship are: sophomore standing, 2.7 GPA, full or part-time student and two letters of recommendation. Details on the scholarships can be found here.

These awards are based on evidence of service or volunteerism and the likelihood of continued commitment to local, national or international nonprofit agencies. The applicant should submit a two-page reflective essay of his or her aspirations. Contact Jean DeWitt, director of community engagement, for more information.

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Landing header

Electronic newsletter for students is now available through GatorMail

Please advise your students that an electronic newsletter, The Landing, is now available for them and is distributed through GatorMail, the University's main communications delivery system for students.

The first editions are archived on the Public Affairs web page at:
http://www.uhd.edu/publicaffairs/landingarchive.html. An oft heard student comment is that they don't use GatorMail. FERPA requirements places limits on the collection and use of student information. The collection of students private, personal email addresses and the direct, forwarding of protected university communications fall under those requirements. However, students have some options to improve communications via GatorMail.

Ideally, students would find the Landing's contents valuable enough to look for in GatorMail. However, students can set their GatorMail to notify them via a personal email account (i.e. Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo) that they've received a GatorMail message. That way they will be notified when they receive an issue of The Landing, along with other GatorMail messages.

To receive a notification email, students can go to their GatorMail account and open the "Options" tab, select the "Mail" tab and select the checkbox for "Enable address for new mail Notifications." Then, they type the address they want the notification sent to in the message box. Click "Save" and the notification feature should be enabled. A set of instruction is available here.

The Landing email address is thelanding@uhd.edu.

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Semester's final CPR certification class scheduled for May 6-7
 
This semester's final CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification class is set for May 6-7.

Register through UHD Sports & Fitness for these American Red Cross Training classes, which provide certification for one year. UHD students, faculty and staff pay $5 for the training, and classes are limited to the first 15 people who pre-pay. For more information on this semester's final CPR training, click here.

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Student Poetry Reading planned in O'Kane Theatre May 4

The UHD community is invited to a Student Poetry Reading from 6:30 to 8 p.m. followed by an Open Mic session onTuesday, May 4, in the O'Kane Theatre.

Pre-registration is required for those who want to participate in the formal poetry set from 6 to 8:30 p.m. For more information or questions, contact student Martha Rubio at 832-466-7907. A flier is available here.

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Committee seeks stories from faculty who were first-generation students

UHD is currently identifying and developing resources that will contribute to UHD's proven success in recruiting, retaining and graduating first-generation students (FGS).

Neither parent of these students has graduated from college. The FGS Committee needs UHD faculty and staff who were first-generation students to tell the stories of their lives as first-generation students.  Stories will appear on a UHD FGS webpage, which is currently being developed in support of the Wal-Mart grant that was recently awarded to UHD.

There are two ways to contribute your FGS story:
On or before June 15, please write your story and send it, along with an optional photo of yourself, to Wayne Schmadeka.
1.     For story ideas, refer to the stories  on the Cal State Fresno website.
2.     When writing, please follow the story-writing guidelines.

Record your story on video.
1.     For story ideas, refer to the stories on the Cal State Fresno website.
2.     When scripting the video, please follow the video-scripting guidelines.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact, Wayne Schmadeka (schmadekaway@uhd.edu, cell 713 854-7070).

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UHD Sports & Fitness offers Healthy Seminar on MyPyramid Tracker

UHD Sports & Fitness plans another in its series of Healthy Seminars, this time on the MyPyramid Tracker eating system, from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, in Room 998-South.

This free seminar, open to the UHD community, is limited to the first 15 people who pre-register by calling 713-221-8481 or e-mailing Rhonda Scherer. For a flier on the seminar, click here.

MyPyramid Tracker is on online nutritional and physical activity log that can analyze eating and exercise habits and compare them to USDA recommendations, which include eating foods in the grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and meat and beans categories daily. Studies show that people who record their eating habits are better at weight loss and maintenance.

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Math final exam reviews scheduled for May 4 and 5

Students can get an early start on a great final exam score with review sessions for Math 0300, Math 1300 and Math 1301 on May 4 and 5.

Students can take a short practice test and bring a copy of the Final Exam Review with them to the review session. Final reviews can be downloaded from http://cms.uhd.edu/qep/algebra or purchased from the Copy Center in the Bookstore.
 
MATH 1301
Tuesday, May 4 
Day:  9 am - Noon - Room A-436
Evening:  5 - 8 pm - Room A-405
 
MATH 1300
Wednesday, May 5 
Day:  9 am - Noon - Room A-436
Evening:  5 - 8 pm - Room A-436
 
MATH 0300
Wednesday, May 5
Day:  9 am - Noon - Room A-405 
Evening:  5 - 8 pm - Room A-405 
 
A flier is available here.

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Professor will speak in Rockdale on George Sessions Perry

History professor Garna Christian will speak on "George Sessions Perry and Hollywood" on May 5 at the 100th anniversary of the Texas writer's birth in Rockdale, Texas.

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Facilities Management will test fire protection systems May 17-28
                                                                                                     
Facilities Management will perform semi-annual testing and maintenance of the campus fire detection / notification / suppression systems (and related elevator fire service re-call, air handler shut-downs, fire-door hold-open devices and stair pressurization controls) beginning May 17 through May 28.  All campus buildings will be addressed during this period.
 
Due to the size of the systems, the contractors involved and the cost of the labor required to do the work, this testing must be performed during normal business hours. Please consider this an opportunity for the university community to become familiar with these fire and life safety systems and the campus emergency public address system.
 
An announcement will be made over the PA system prior to the alarms being sounded to inform the occupants of the test. The alarms and strobe lights will then be engaged briefly and certified by the technicians. An announcement will be made after the conclusion of each segment of the audible and visual alarm testing.
 
Thank you for your cooperation.
 
Questions can be sent to:
 
Chris McCall
Assistant V.P. - Facilities
Facilities Management Department
University  of  Houston - Downtown
713.221.8030
mccallc@uhd.edu

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UHD joins Federal Direct Student Loan Program in Fall 2010

Starting with the fall 2010 semester, UHD is joining thousands of other U.S. higher education institutions in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, meaning students with federal Stafford, Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS loans will borrow their funds from the federal government instead of from multiple private banks and credit unions.
 
UHD's participation in the Federal Program will have little visible impact on students and their families. However, having one lender - the U.S. Department of Education - will make the process much more efficient for schools and borrowers.

The change necessitates only minimal action on the part of students (and parents who wish to borrow through the PLUS program), who need only to sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete Loan Entrance Counseling if they haven't done so already. Students can visit www.studentloans.gov to complete the MPN and Loan Entrance Counseling process.

As part of direct lending, the Stafford direct loan is exactly the same in terms and conditions, interest rates and loan fees as the FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan). The Grad PLUS loans and Parent PLUS loans will benefit from a lower interest rate of 7.9 percent, as compared to 8.5 percent in the FFEL program.

Federal direct loans offer other advantages, such as more flexible repayment plans, easier tracking and a greater possibility of loan forgiveness for students who perform public service after graduation.

Most loans will remain with their current service provider.  However, due to the sale of loans to the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Student Financial Aid highly encourages students and families to pay very close attention to mailings from their loan provider. Letters with repayment information were sent to those who were affected by the sale.

Borrowers can also track their federal loans online through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Visit Direct Loans FAQ  for more information.


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Help support National Police Week, get blue ribbons from UHD Police 

National Police Week ribbon
The University of Houston-Downtown Police Department invites the UHD community to pick up a complimentary blue ribbon to show support for National Police Week May 9-15.

The number of ribbons is limited so get yours as soon as possible. Ribbons are available at the UHD Police Department headquarters, Room 118-North, or the parking office at 354-North.

The blue ribbon tradition started several years ago when a group called Concerns of Police Survivors encouraged the general public as well as police cruisers to fly blue ribbons from their car antennae during National Police Week. The resulting sea of blue shows support for police officers on the street and for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

UHD Police thank the University community for its continued support.

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Numerous student internships available through jobs4gators

If you know a student looking for an internship for summer or fall, encourage them to register with jobs4gators. Here are just a few companies looking for UHD students for internships:
    Ergos Technology, Dominos Corporate Office, Council of Environmental
    Education, Judge Dougherty, Texas Campus Compact and Bank of America.  

There are more than 175 employment opportunities listed as well, including:
  Burleson, Cooke, LLP; McDonnell, Jones, Lanier & Murphy, LLP,  North Star
   Consultants,  Environmental Protection Agency,  City of Friendswood, Kelly
   Scientific,  R&M Energy Solutions, Tudor, Pickering and Holt & Co.

Faculty members who would like access to jobs4gators can contact Career Services at 713-221-8980 or UHDCareer@uhd.edu.
 
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Career Services internships and employment opportunities

Career Services has several internships and employment opportunities available. Here is just a partial list to share with students:

ARES Corporation - Engineer
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management - Merrill Lynch 
    Wealth Management Internship
Bikes Online - Operations Rep
Boy Scouts of America -  District Executive, entry level
BPSOS, Inc. -  Disaster Case Management Program Manager
Corporate Collaborations - Senior Specialist, Controls & Policies
Council for Environmental Education - Summer Intern
Dominos Pizza - Upper Management Paid Internship
Fort Bend ISD  - Applications, Senior Applications, Sharepoint and
    Web Programmers
Houston A+ Challenge - Performance Coach
Lamar State College, Orange - System Support Specialist
Literacy Advance of Houston - Bilingual Program Coordinator
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP - Entry Level Staff Auditor
Missouri City Municipal Court - Internship
Professional Golf Ball Services - Accounting Assistant
Reliant Park - Cashiers and Parking Attendants
Smith and Associates - Human Resources Clerk
Student Conservation Association - Conservation Collaborative
    (HCC) Coordinator
Texas Department of Banking - Financial Examiner V-VII
TPI Staffing - HR Systems Coordinator, HR Administrative Assistant,
    VP Audit, Inside Sales, Website Developer, BAS General
    Manager, Engineer-Field Service, Embed. Software, Sim. Software
Univision Radio - part-time Board Operator KQBU and part-time
    Traffic/Continuity Coordinator

For more information or to apply for these internships and employment opportunities, students should visit the jobs4gators Web site. Career Services has nearly 200 positions in its database. 
 
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IT Training for Faculty-Staff-Alumni

Register for IT training opportunities at the links below.  To schedule a one-on-one appointment or other assistance, please call 713-221-8200.


Blackboard

          Today
          9 a.m. to noon - Blackboard: Open Lab

Access: Basics
          Tuesday, May 4
          1 to 2:30 p.m. - Training Lab

SurveyMonkey
           Wednesday, May 5
           10 to 11 a.m. - Training Lab

See all current IT training available

The Skyline eNews is produced daily by the Office of Public Affairs and you will receive the Skyline eNews via email while you are a UHD employee. We update our email list weekly. The eNews is a University faculty and staff newsletter and is designed to keep employees informed of university activities, policy changes, human resources issues, business office information and security information.

The deadline for submitting items is 9 a.m. the day before publication. Past issues are archived on UHD's Web site. The archive link is in the lower right column.   

We are always interested in your activities. Let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can include your event in the Skyline eNews. We also try to photograph University activities, but we need to know when and where your event is taking place. Email skylinenews@uhd.edu or call Public Affairs at 713-221-8010.
In this issue
Today at UHD
Participate in UHD Advisory Straw Poll
Deadline extended until 2 p.m. for Provost candidate evaluations
Record number of UHD students will be initiated into national honor society Phi Kappa Phi May 4
Get a $5 discount - buy Sport & Fitness banquet tickets today
Deadline extended to May 7 for senior volunteers to take online tests
CHSS announces coordinators for interdisciplinary minors
Student Research Conference highlights student scholarly work
UHD team competed in May 1 Dragon Boat races
Stories from previous Skylines
Annual Student Awards Program set for May 5
Staff Awards celebration set for May 7
Prospective students visited UHD Northwest Open House
Academic Assessment adds two AIM Reviewer Training sessions
Community Engagement offers two scholarships for 2010-2011 semesters
Online newsletter - The Landing - now available for students
First aid certification continues today, CPR training available next week
Student Poetry Reading in O'Kane Theatre May 4
First-Generation faculty stories sought
Healthy Seminar on MyPyramid Tracker May 5
Reviews for math final exams available
UHD's Garna Christian will speak on George Sessions Perry
Facilities Management will test fire protection systems May 17-28
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