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Two New Board of Trustees Members Appointed

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New Board member Barry M. Granger, a DuPont executive, is sworn on June 10 by Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, board chair.

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  Delaware State University’s Board of Trustees is now at full strength with two recent appointments to its body. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell announced Jan. 11 that he has appointed Lois Hobbs, a former superintendent of the Indian River School District in Lower Delaware, to the board to finish the six-year term of Willa Mae Jordan, who resigned in April. The term will be complete on Jan. 11, 2011.   During its regular meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the board nomination of DuPont executive Barry M. Granger to the board. Mr. Granger is filling a vacant slot that was created by the state legislation that increased the board to 15 members. The appointment of Mr. Granger is for a six-year term.                   Barry M. Granger   With appointments of Ms. Hobbs and Mr. Granger, the board is now at full membership with 15 appointees and no vacancies. According to state law, eight of the seats are to be appointed by the state governor, and seven of the seats are board appointments.   Barry M. Granger is the vice president for DuPont Government Marketing & Government Affairs, a company he has worked for since 1987. Prior to his arrival at DuPont, he held various positions with the Dow Chemical Company.   Mr. Granger holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University. He is a former board member of Salesianum High School of Wilmington and for the Eastern Seals of Delaware & Maryland. The DuPont executive is a resident of Bethesda, Md.                     Lois M. Hobbs   Lois M. Hobbs has worked the last four years as an independent educational consultant. Prior to that from 1996-2006 she served as the superintendent of the Indian River School District, which serves 7,600 students in Sussex County. During her career, she has also been a regional administrator for the Charles County Public Schools and as a teacher principal and assistant superintendent for the Prince George’s County Public School.   Ms. Hobbs has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Elementary School Administration. She has served on the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries and on the Lt. Governor’s Models of Excellence in Education Steering Committee. The former district superintendent is a resident of Ocean View, Del.   Mr. Granger was formally sworn in as a board member by Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, board chair, during its regular June 10 meeting. Ms. Hobbs will be sworn in at a future meeting.  

Four Student Earn DSU $3,000 in the Honda Challenge

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The participation of Cheston Nathaniel Boyd, Tyree Daniel Evans, Devine J. Wilkins and Stephanie O. Amolegbe in the Honday Campus All-Star Challenge have earned DSU a $3,000 grant. 

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    A Delaware State University student team – comprised of Tyree Daniel Evans, Stephanie O. Amolegbe, Cheston Nathaniel Boyd and Devin J. Wilkins – recently earned a national grant in the amount of $3,000 for participating in the 2010 Honda Campus All Star Challenge!    Congratulations to the participating students under the support of Emmanuel Lalande for representing DSU well.  The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is the first-ever academic competition between students at America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).   Honda has sponsored the program since its inception. HCASC campus play is open to all four-year, degree-granting HBCUs in the continental U.S. Over 50,000 students have competed in the program.    

DSU Unveils New Vision Statement and Core Values

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DSU President Harry L. Williams unveils the University's new Vision Statement and Core Values during the June 10 Board of Trustees meeting.

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  As a fresh new guide to future prominence, Delaware State University’s Blue Ribbon Commission has completed the work of establishing a new Vision Statement and set of Core Values for the institution. The Blue Ribbon Commission was established in January 2010 by DSU President Harry L. Williams. Charged with developing a new visionary roadmap for the institution by June, the commission’s earnest work has culminated in the following Vision Statement and Core Values that will guide the University into the future:   Vision As one of America’s most highly respected Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Delaware State University will be renowned for a standard of academic excellence that prepares our graduates to become the first choice of employers in a global market, and invigorates the economy and the culture of Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic Region.   Core Values Community Integrity Diversity Scholarship Outreach   The 14-member commission launched into its work immediately after its establishment in January and sought from the outset to incorporate the input of all of the University’s key constituencies.   The commission held public forums in all three of the state’s counties in March and April. During that period, forums were also held on campus to capture the thoughts of students, faculty, staff, athletics personnel and the DSU Board of Trustees. Interested persons could respond online at www.desu.edu.   Alumni were well-represented throughout all public forums. Legislators, government officials, educators, the faith community, business representatives and parents also weighed in.   In the forums and on the website, respondents were asked to look to the future and answer the following set of questions:   In the year 2020, what aspects of the DSU experience have become so widely admired as to attract the interest of potential students as their first choice for higher education? In the year 2020, what unique strengths of a DSU education have equipped our graduates with such an outstanding set of knowledge and skills that they stand out in even the most competitive job markets? In the year 2020, what core values has DSU so successfully embodied that the University has become a state and regional leader in teaching, research and community service.   The commission analyzed all the input given from about 400 respondents, especially using it to identify key words and concepts. The commission discussed the indicators of success for graduates and for the institution in 2020. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis was also part of the commission’s activity. Helping facilitate several meetings was Phillip Wescott, a partner in The Hillis Group of Newark, Del., who volunteered his time and services to the effort.   Dr. Dyremple Marsh, Blue Ribbon Commission co-chair, shares his perspective during the June 10 DSU Board of Trustees meeting on the process of crafting a new Vision Statement. After the commission completed its thorough analysis and discussion of the input, a subcommittee began the task of composing the drafts of the vision statement and core values.   The commission met several times to refine the drafts, resulting in the final product that was formally unveiled to the DSU Board of Trustees during its June 10 regular meeting.   “The commission, which is comprised of a good cross section of the DSU stakeholders, took the charge from President Williams seriously and embarked on a process that sought feedback from the community,” said Dr. Dyremple Marsh, Blue Ribbon Commission co-chair and dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. “The subsequent discussions were very intense at times; but at the end of the day, the final product was a unanimous statement that we, as commission members, felt will take DSU into a successful future as it guides the institution.”   In addition to Dr. Marsh, the commission included retired Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (co-chair); DSU executive administrators Carolyn Curry, Kemal Atkins and Tamara Crump; faculty representative Dr. Steve Newton; DSU Student Government Association President Kathleen Charlot; and Dr Calvin Wilson, DSU Board of Trustees member; state Sen. Brian Bushweller; Dr. Randy Guschl, director of the DuPont Center for Collaborative Research & Education; Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, Delaware State College class of 1949; Dr. Josette L. McCullough, principal of Fred Fifer Middle School in Camden; and Bernice Whaley, deputy director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.   In addition, each member of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman and U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle – served as honorary co-chairs and contributed to aspects of the overall effort. “As examples of their commitment, Sen. Carper and Congressman Castle spent time with the group, and Lori James, Sen. Carper’s Congressional aide, rarely missed a meeting,” Dr. Marsh said.   Sen. Carper, a long-time supporter of DSU, said he is proud of the institution. “Under the interim leadership of Dr. Claiborne Smith and now, under the new leadership of Dr. Harry Williams, this University is becoming what I always hoped it would be: the economic engine that drives Kent County and downstate Delaware,” Sen. Carper said. “As a member of Delaware State University’s Blue Ribbon Commission, I wholeheartedly support and share this vision and I look forward to the continued growth of DSU.  Not only does Delaware State University educate young minds; they are setting the stage for building a stronger future for their graduates.”   “The work of the commission has been tremendous. In a short period of time, they worked tirelessly to gain an abundance of thoughts that well-informed the vision process,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “I thank each of them for their focus and guidance in helping this truly great university to fulfill its immense potential.”   “I also want to thank those who responded,” Dr. Williams said. “We will be referring back to their ideas as we work in the months ahead to articulate our strengths and formulate a blueprint.”   Dr. Williams noted that creating a new vision and establishing core values are the first critical steps in a new strategic process. He said that he will be bringing groups of people together to define the values to help DSU realize the vision. In the fall, he will begin a process to establish new university goals and objectives that will actualize the new vision.   “I truly believe in the promise of this new vision. As a state institution, we will strengthen our connections to the economy, learning and well-being of Delawareans. As among the best HBCUs in America, we will continue to raise our standards in all we do, particularly in ensuring our students are ready to meaningfully contribute to the workforce and society,” he said.    

Alumni Association Elects 2010-2012 Officers

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  The DSU Alumni Association has elected officers for the 2010-2012 term. Elected during the May 22 DSUAA annual meeting were: President – Dr. K. Bernard Chase, ‘72 Vice president – Mr. Meeshach D. Stennett, ‘98 Recording Secretary – Ms. Sheila Davis, ‘01 Assistant Secretary – Ms. Beverly M. Swann, ‘93/’97 Treasurer – Mr. J. Cagney France, '65 Assistant Treasurer – Ms. Joy C. Hopkins-Keita, ‘99 Alumni Representative – Ms. Josephine Stevenson-Seals, ‘71 Chaplain – Mr. Reginald C. Minus, ‘73 Nominating Committee Chairman – Mr. Albert S. Weal, Jr., ‘74   Dr. Chase succeeds Ms. Deidre Y. Ottley, who served as the DSUAA president from 2008-2010.  

DSU Has School Record MEAC All-Academic Scholars

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    Most of the DSU student-athlete scholars that have been named on the MEAC All-Academic Team are shown in this photo taken during a Hornet basketball doubleheader in March.                                                     A school-record 98 DSU student-athletes have been recognized by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for their work in the classroom and named on the conference’s All-Academic Team.    The MEAC recently revised its original 2010 Commissioner's All-Academic Team, which originally had DSU as having the most non-freshmen student-athletes with a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher.   As a result of the revision, it was determined that Howard University had a few addition student athletes that met the MEAC All-Academic criteria, which pushed that school above DSU by two student-athletes.   A total of 613 student-athletes from the league's 12 schools met the criteria during the 2009-10 academic year. As a result of the MEAC revision, Delaware State is second among the schools with a school-record 98 scholar athletes. Howard University topped the list with 100.   "I'm extremely proud of our exceptional student-athletes for their outstanding work in the classroom," said DSU Director of Athletics Derek Carter. "The academic success of our student-athletes is a credit to their hard work, along with the commitment of their parents, university administration, faculty and coaches to academic and athletic excellence."   Delaware State has placed 75-or-more student-athletes on the MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic list for the fifth straight year. Last year, DSU topped the conference with 78 honorees.  During the 2007-08 academic year, a league-high 82 Delaware State student-athletes were recognized.   2009-10 MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic selections (by school):   Howard (100) Delaware State (98) Maryland Eastern Shore (55) Bethune-Cookman (54) Hampton (48) Morgan State (48) North Carolina A&T (46) Norfolk State (40) South Carolina State (36) Winston-Salem State (36) Florida A&M (26) Coppin State (22)  

Dr. Noureddine Melikechi Named Dean Over Science Disciplines

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Dr. Noureddine Melikechi has been named the permanent dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology after serving for more than one and a half years as the interim dean over those disciplines.

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  Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, a 15-year faculty member at Delaware State University, has been named as the dean of the institution’s College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Dr. Melikechi had served as the interim dean of that College since October 2008. Dr. Melikechi is a native of Algeria where he graduated with a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures in Physics from the University of Sciences and Technology of Algiers. He then went on to the University of Sussex in England to pursue graduate work in the area of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics and received a Master of Sciences in 1982 and a Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil.) in Physics in 1987.  Dr. Melikechi joined Delaware State University in 1995 as an assistant professor of physics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and attained full professor status in 2002. Since his arrival, he has been highly instrumental in the University’s development of optics curriculum and research. In 1998 Dr. Melikechi founded DSU’s Applied Optics Center, and later he was the principal investigator in research proposals through which DSU received two separate $5 million grants – in 2006 and 2009 – for optics research. As the result of those two grants, Dr. Melikechi founded the Center for Education and Research in Optics Sciences and the Center for Applied Optics for Space Science. These two centers are focused on developing the next generation of optical scientists and on developing new technologies that can be used for the early detection of threats, including cancer, and for space application. Dr. Melikechi’s impressive research track record will serve him well in his capacity as dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, as he will oversee other significant research initiatives that are ongoing in the areas of chemistry, neuroscience, biological sciences, computer science, physics and mathematics.      

DSU Awarded $2.5M Grant to Support MARC Program

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The $2.5 million NSF grant will help DSU's MARC Program to guide its top science students to doctoral degree programs and research careers.

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  Delaware State University’s efforts to produce high quality research from among its undergraduate students received a great shot in the arm recently as the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded the institution a five-year $2.5 million grant to support its Minority Access to Research Careers Program (MARC). With the funding, DSU will create and implement a strong educational and research training program to guide traditionally underrepresented groups into STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and into graduate training at the Ph.D. level.   “We are proud that DSU has secured this funding from the NSF because MARC is a major program for our students,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. “We look forward to building a strong and sustainable program that will prepare the next generation of STEM researchers.”   In awarding the grant, the NSF validated the proposal for the program developed by Dr. Melikechi, who is also the program director, and his faculty team – Dr. Fatma Helmy, professor of biology and MARC Program coordinator; Dr. Venugopal Kalavacharla, assistant professor of agriculture and natural resources; Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam, assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Cherese Winstead, assistant professor of chemistry.   MARC students must maintain a 3.25 grade point average or above and therefore are representative of the top STEM students at DSU. The program provides students with top notch research skills and exposes them to cutting-edge knowledge in those science areas, according Dr. Melikechi.  

2010 Faculty Excellence Awards Presented

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DSU's 2010 Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Elizabeth Mansley, Dr. Sam Hoff, Dr. Draboljub Pokrajac and Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay.

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  Delaware State University has named the recipients of its 2010 Faculty Excellence Awards. The faculty members are:   Dr. Elizabeth Mansley – Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching An assistant professor of sociology who has been with DSU since 2007, Dr. Mansley’s teaching philosophy is to foster an active, cooperative learning environment that offers students multiple avenues to develop their sociological perspectives. She has developed two new upper-level sociology courses, and in her role as chair of the department’s Curriculum Review Committee she has led the successful effort to split the program into two separate degree-conferring majors.   In her University service, Dr. Mansley has chosen to serve on committees that have the greatest impact on teaching, such as serving as the chair of the Honors Council, secretary of the Academic Affairs Committee, advisor of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Club and as a member of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee.   Dr. Sam Hoff – Faculty Excellence Award for Service A George Washington Distinguished Professor and a professor of the Department of History, Political Science & Philosophy, Dr. Hoff has been with the University since 1989. He currently serves as the director of the DSU Law Studies Program – for which he in credited with being instrumental in establishing – and the graduate director of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.   He serves on the University’s Honors Council and Faculty Senate, and is the chair of the DSU Student Disciplinary Appeals Council, the Faculty Senate Faculty Research Committee, as well as the Academic Policy Committee of the Graduate Council and various other department committees.   Dr. Draboljub Pokrajac – Faculty Excellence Award for Research An associate professor of computer and information sciences who has been at DSU since 2002, Dr. Pokrajac has been the principal investigator on two research grants totaling more than $1 million. He has also been a co-principal investigator on major grants connected with the University’s Center for Research and Education in Optics Sciences as well as the Applied Mathematics Research Center. The total amount of grants for which he has provided grant writing and research leadership at DSU exceeds $11 million.   He is the author of 17 journal papers, 108 peer-reviewed conference papers, two book chapters and has served as the co-editor of two books. Among the numerous graduate and undergraduate students he has supervised, several have won prizes and have participated as presenters and co-authors at research conferences.   Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay – Faculty Excellence Award for Advising A research associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources who has been at DSU since 2003, Dr. Ozbay is currently supervising four graduate research projects, has supervised nine other previous graduate students, and has served on more than 10 graduate students’ research committees.   Dr. Ozbay has led students and research staffs in research programs in marine aquaculture, habitat restoration and water quality issues. She has also served as an academic mentor with the Office of Student and Academic Support Services.    

561 diplomas awarded during May 23 Commencement

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Jean Hollaway Coursey, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Lewes, Del. cuts loose some excitement after receiving her diploma.

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  Delaware State University beat the rain Sunday by holding its 2010 Commencement in three smaller indoor ceremonies in which the institution presented 561 diplomas. It was the first Commencement for DSU President Harry Lee Williams, who is in his first year as the University’s top executive officer. Dr. Williams presided over all three Commencement ceremonies, held at 9 a.m., 12 noon and 3 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Gym on campus.    DSU’s 2010’s graduating class totaled 435 bachelor’s degrees, 118 master’s degrees and eight doctoral degrees. The class of 2010 produced 135 honor students, which included 27 Summa Cum Laudes (3.75 GPA or above), 38 Magna Cum Laudes (3.5 to 3.74), 58 Cum Laudes (3.25 to 3.49) and 12 honorable mentions. In addition to the Commencement, on Saturday, May 22 the University recognized its top academic students during its Honors Convocation, which featured Delaware Gov. Jack Markell as its keynote speaker. Keynote speaker Dr. Steve Perry urged the DSU graduates to focus on not only making a living, but also on making a positive difference in the lives of others.     The Commencement ceremonies on Sunday were attended alternately by Gov. Markell, U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle, state Rep. Darryl Scott and Dover Mayor Carlton Carey, as well as DSU Board of Trustees Chairman Claibourne Smith and several other members of the board.   Dr. Williams presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to two graduates who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years –Cameron Hinderer, a physics major from Wyoming, Del., and Adam Johnson, a computer science major from Georgetown, Del.   The DSU president also presented a Presidential Leadership Award to Crysta Nicole Tilghman, a psychology major from Wilmington, Del. In addition to maintaining a 3.5 GPA, Ms. Tilghman served as Miss Junior and Senior Class vice president in the DSU Student Government Association and was a member of several academic organizations. She also served as a peer counselor for the DSU Office of Counseling, a mentor in the Big Sister, Little Sister program and donated her time to several other community service activities.   The youngest undergraduate in the class of 2010 was Jasmine Monique Bolton, a 20-year-old Cum Laude student who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications/Public Relations. The oldest undergraduate was Donna Shelton, a 54-year-old Dover resident who earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The oldest overall graduate is James D. Lane, a 73-year-old Wilmington resident who earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership.   (L-r)Ashley Miclette and her mother Alberta Miclette graduated together this year, with daughter earning a BA in Education and mom earning a MA in Educational Leadership. The Commencement keynote speaker was Dr. Steve Perry, the founder and principal of the highly successful Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. Dr. Perry is the author of several books, an education contributor for CNN and is a widely sought education expert in the country.   Dr. Perry, who gave his address at all three Commencement ceremonies, told the graduates that while they had achieved something great in earning their degrees, they should look not only toward making a living, but also “making a loving” that will help others make it through their life journey in a positive manner.   “You now all have a responsibility to improve the circumstances of those around you,” Dr. Perry said. He added that with all the people, especially families, who helped support them in getting their degree, the DSU graduates' degree achievements what was expected.   “You need to do now what you’re supposed to do – take care of your family, yourself and other people,” Dr. Perry said.   In her challenge address to her fellow graduates, Senior Class President KaLonna Maull reminded her fellow graduates that they should remain ever steadfast in their support of their alma mater, "to ensure that our institution remains an indispensable catalyst and stepping stone for aspiring intellectuals, so that they too can make their mark on the world."   Sr. Class President KaLonna Maull called on her classmate to continue to support DSU. Ms. Maull noted that the class of 2010 has already expressed that support by becoming the first-ever graduating class to create a giving campaign as its parting gift to the institution. "We dug deep into our own personal pockets and these efforts allowed us to raise, $2,000 in scholarship funding," she said.   During the DSU Commencement weekend, the University honored the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1960 during a reception on Saturday, May 22 in the new Martin Luther King Student Center. Fourteen 1960 graduates of then-Delaware State College  returned to their alma mater this weekend, donned robes and took part in both the May 22 Honors Convocation and the May 23 Commencement.    

Former Hornet Editor-in-Chief honored by NABJ

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   DSU alumnus Michael J. Feeney, currently a reporter with the New York Daily News, has been named the 2010 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.  NABJ President Kathy Times said Feeney was chosen over other young journalists because he "represents where journalism is and where it's going." "He has covered multiple beats in print and lives in a multimedia world," Times said. "His fresh energy and eagerness to learn are perfect ingredients for an emerging journalist."   Mr. Feeney, who earned a BA in Mass Communication (Print Journalism) in 2005 at DSU, clearly prepared himself to make his mark on the world during his four years at DSU. He worked for The Hornet Newspaper during his entire academic journey, beginning as a writer his freshman year and then serving as the editor-in-chief during his senior year. He also served on the Student Government Association and was a member of the DSU chapter of the NABJ.   DSU alumnus Michael Feeney                  Photo by Pearl Gabel, NY Daily News The pinnacle of his four years at DSU was being honored with the 2005 Presidential Leadership Award.   After graduation, Mr. Feeney was hired immediately as a reporter by the Associated Press. He later wrote for The Record of Bergen County (N.J.) before he moved last year on to his current job with the New York Daily News.   Raised in Teaneck, N.J., Feeney said he hopes to be a role model to other up-and-coming journalists.   "It encourages me to help other people follow their dream," said Feeney, who also writes the pop culture blog Mfeenz.com. "Working at the Daily News is my dream. I'm living my dream right now."   He will receive the award in July at the NABJ annual convention in San Diego.                          

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