October 2013


Hornet Chapter of Groove Phi Groove Donates $25,000 for Scholarships

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (2nd from left) receives a $25,000 display check from DSU Groove Phi Groove members (l-r) Chris Joyner (national chairman), Preston Hebron Jr., Larry Williams, Wayne Matthews and Harry Wright. Not picture but in attendance was Tyrone Seymour.

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10/6/13 DSU alumni members of the Hornet Chapter of the Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc., returned to their alma mater on Oct. 5 to provide financial support for Delaware State University’s Scholarship Fund. Groove Phi Groove presented a check of $25,000 to DSU President Harry L. Williams on the day of the Hornets’ home football game against Bethune Cookman. Dr. Williams recognized the social fellowship organization’s donation during the pre-game Parent’s Day Luncheon as well as on the field the during halftime of the game. After the fellowship was founded in 1962 at Morgan State University, one year later Groove Phi Groove was established at then-Delaware State College as the second chapter founded in the country. The Hornet chapter has gone on to produced more national officers than any other chapter nationwide – including its current board chairman Chris Joyner, Delaware State College class of 1976. Groove Phi Groove’s purpose is to promote academic awareness and good ethical standards, to promote unity and fellowship among college men, to create intelligent and effective leadership, and to study and help alleviate the social and economic problems concerning boys and men in order to improve the stature of mankind.  

DSU Presents Student Production "Steel Magnolias" Nov. 2-3

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The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias": (l-r) Dana Matthews, Candace Victory, Jasmin Walker, Brandi Hydleburg, Tiffany Trawick and Shakira Abdul Rashid.

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10/25/13 The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias" form a human magnolia.   Delaware State University will present a student production of “Steel Magnolias” in three performances on Nov. 2-3 in the DSU Education and Humanities Theater on campus.   There will be a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and two performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The comedy-drama play is free and open to the public.   The play, written by Robert Harling, stars the following students: Dana Matthews (freshman English education major) as Truvy, Candace Victory (junior nursing major) as Annelle, Shakira Abdul Rashid (sophomore mass communications major) as Ms. Clairee, Jasmin Walker (freshman business major) as Shelby, Brandy Hydleburg (senior integrated studies major) as M’lynn, and Tiffany Tradwick (senior psychology major) as Ms. Ouiser.   Directed by the Rev. Dr. Shirlyn Henry Brown, an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, she describes the comedy-drama as a “dazzling, entertaining show.”   “The characters are six distinctive women in the South who are known to be as strong as steel, but as gentle as sweet magnolias,” Dr. Brown said. “These women have a bond of friendship and sisterhood that can’t be broken and always meet in the town beauty salon. Together the ladies share their joy and pain in support of one another.”

2013 Coronation of Mr. and Miss DSU -- Photo Slideshow and Article

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The 2013-2014 Royal Empire Court -- (l-r) Miss Freshman Aubrey Flournoy, Miss Sophomore Kellie Smith, Miss Junior Jazzlynn Tolson, Miss Senior Kailani Capote, Miss DSU Chascidy Reeves, Mr. DSU Charles Robinson-Snead, Mr. Senior Johnnie Lonon, Mr. Junior Babatunde Fakuade, Mr. Sophomore Christopher Gunter, and Mr. Freshman Tevin Smith.

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10/7/13 The 2013 Homecoming Week was kicked off on Sunday, Oct. 6 with “An Evening in Paris,” the official Coronation of this year’s Mr. and Miss DSU, Charles R. Robinson-Snead and Chascidy A. Reeves. For images from the Coronation, click on the below photo slideshow; continue reading below it for more information on the 2013-2014 Mr. and Miss DSU and the Oct. 6 event: Mr. DSU Charles Robinson-Snead is a 21-year-old senior psychology major (minor in forensic science) from Laurel, Del. He is the son of Esther D. Robinson and currently maintains a 3.05 GPA. During his academic journey, Mr. Robinson-Snead has been a member of the DSU Gospel Choir, Psychology Club, NAACP, 1 Entity Modeling Troupe, Ronald McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, as well as the Gamma Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., for which he currently serves as president. He also is a peer mentor to other students on campus. Mr. Robinson-Snead plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology, with the goal of becoming a forensic psychologist and working for the FBI. Miss DSU Chascidy A. Reeves is a 21-year-old senior English major from Brooklyn, N.Y. She is the daughter of Sonia Reeves and Everton Cooper and currently maintains a 3.24 GPA. She previously served as Miss Sophomore 2011-2012 and was the 2012-2013 Women’s Senate president. She has been a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society, Big Sister Little Sister, and has also been a Connecting Generations Americorps mentor. After she graduates, Ms. Reeves plans to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She plans to become an elementary school teacher and eventually a high school principal. The other members of the Royal Court include: Mr. and Miss Senior Johnnie Lonon, sport management major, 3.0 GPA Kailani Capote, psychology major, 3.85 GPA   Mr. and Miss Junior Babatunde Fakuade, hospitality and tourism major, 3.17 GPA Jazzlynn Tolson, mass communication major, 2.89 GPA   Mr. and Miss Sophomore Christopher S. Gunter, political science and criminal justice major, 3.8 GPA Kellie Smith, psychology major, 3.44 GPA   Mr. and Miss Freshman Tevin Smith, psychology major Aubrey Ann Flournoy, pre-nursing major   Lil’ Mr. and Miss DSU Josiah Sejour, age 4, son of Michael and Julie Sejour Morgan Brown, age 4, son of Demont Brown and Antynea Summers. Held in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus, the Coronation was emceed by Edward Doxen and Shashanna Simeon. Also participating were musical soloists Tyrone Ashley and Tameca Boney; Bryan Mowatt, Kelsey Cheatham and Ryanne Cheatham in a poem/drama presentation; and the DSU Jazz Ensemble.

DSU's Michelle Fisher Named as a Delaware Black Achiever

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DSU and family supporters celebrate Michelle Fisher's Black Achiever honor -- (l-r) Stacey Downing, associate vice president of Student Affair; Kemal Atkins, vice president of Student Affairs; Estelle Harding (Ms. Fisher's mother); Ms. Fisher, director of Student Health Services (with her award); Sharon Addison and Mariah Williams (Ms. Fisher's sister and granddaughter, respectively); Gloria Minus, retired Health Services office manager; and Paula Duffy, director of Student Judicial Affairs.

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10/25/13 Actor Hill Harper and Michelle Fisher meet during the VIP reception that preceded the Black Achievers Ceremony in Wilmington.   Michelle Fisher, director of the DSU Student Health Services, has been named among Delaware’s 2013 Black Achievers in Business and Industry, an annual awards ceremony held by the Walnut Street YMCA in Wilmington, Del.   Ms. Fisher was presented her Black Achiever award by Hill Harper, actor/author/role model activist, who was the keynote speaker for the Oct. 24 event. She was among 17 honorees selected this year.   The fall of 2013 has been a season of honors for Ms. Fisher. In September, she received two DSU honors – the Student Affairs Vice President’s Choice Award and the Inspire Excellence Award.   Kemal Atkins, DSU vice president for Student Affairs, called Ms. Fisher a consummate professional who through her excellence and work ethics, leads by example.   "Under Ms. Fisher's leadership, DSU has a Student Heath Service Center that would rival health services provided at institutions twice our size," said Mr. Atkins. "She works hard to keep our students informed on health issues, promote wellness on campus, and to address any medical issues that arise at the University. She also has diligently worked to ensure that students are knowledgeable about the current health insurance laws -- known commonly as part of Obamacare -- and how it impacts them.   Ms. Fisher began at DSU in 1999 as a nurse practitioner and was elevated to her current director of Student Health Services post in 2005. She has a BS in nursing from Adelphi University and a MS in nursing from Wilmington University.  She is currently working on her doctorate at Wilmington University.   Among her community involvement pursuits, Ms. Fisher has served on board of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, has conducted HIV awareness activities with different local organizations, has participated in the American Heart Association Heart Walk, is an active member and former board member of the American College Health Association, and serves as an active member of her church, the New Life Family Worship Center of Camden, Del.  

DSU Dr. Christopher Heckscher Discovers New Species of Firefly

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Dr. Christopher Heckscher, DSU associate professor of environmental sciences, shows his collection of fireflies which he was able to compare with a new firefly species he has discovered in Delaware. While DSU has one scientist (Dr. Noureddine Melikechi) helping NASA determine whether there has been life on Mars, Dr. Heckscher has discovered a new life species on earth.

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10/9/13 The Photuris Mysticalampas is the new firefly genus species previously unknown to science that Dr. Christopher Heckscher has discovered in Delaware.   As far as anyone at DSU can remember, there has never been a scientist at the University (or for that matter, when it was a College) that could lay claim to the discovery of a new animal species.   That is, until recently.   Dr. Christopher Heckscher, associate professor of environmental science in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has become a DSU first with his discovery of a new species of firefly that had never been identified before in the world.   The firefly is a new species among the Photuris genus of fireflies, and Dr. Heckscher has named the newly identified illuminating insect Photuris mysticalampas. His discovery is substantiated in a published peer reviewed paper entitled “Photuris Mysticalampas (Coleoptera Lampyridae): A New Firefly from Peatland Floodplain Forests of the Delmarva Peninsula.”   Dr. Heckscher originally discovered the new firefly in 2004 when he was working as the state zoologist for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. As he was doing a survey of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge along the Delaware Bay in Sussex County Delaware, he had what he believed was his first encounter with the insect.   “I collected a firefly at Prime Hook I couldn’t identify and thought it was just a rare species I wasn’t familiar with,” he said. “Then a couple of years later I was doing a field survey in the Nanticoke wildlife area (also in Sussex County) and I came across it again.  At that point, I realized it might be a new species.”   To satisfy his scientific curiosity, Dr. Heckscher took the firefly to Florida to consult with the then-foremost authority in the country on firefly species – Dr. James Lloyd.   “(Dr. Lloyd) wasn’t familiar with it either,” Dr. Heckscher said. “I knew that if he didn’t know it, then it had to be an unknown species.”   Dr. Heckscher began teaching full-time at DSU in 2008, and it has been during his tenure at the University that he did the bulk of the research work to prove that the firefly  was a new  species.   He studied the unidentified firefly using a “dichotomous key” that compared specific characteristics of the firefly with known firefly species . The more the DSU associate professor studied the firefly, the more he became convinced that he had discovered a species unknown to science.   Dr Christopher Heckscher   “This discovery was unique because this firefly was found in this region, which has been well studied,” Dr. Heckscher said, “I think it’s a great example of how much we still have to learn about our natural world.  If a firefly can go undiscovered how much else are we missing?”. He added, however, the firefly he discovered was found in remote sections of Delaware wildlife areas largely untouched by man.   In comparing his find to other fireflies, the newly discovered firefly was distinguished from other  species by its distinct oval body, small size, flash pattern, and dense pubescent elytra (forewing).   This year, Dr. Heckscher submitted his paper to Entomological News, which had his work peer reviewed by a number of anonymous scientists. After none of the reviewers took any exceptions with any of Dr. Heckscher’s research , his paper was published in the scientific journal in its July-August 2013 issue, which was released in the last week of September.   Dr. Heckscher’s work in discovering the Photuris mysticalampas is far from the end of the story where his research is concerned. “Nothing is known about this species,” he said. “So everything I find out will be new.”   Dr. Heckscher is both an entomologist (one who studies insects) and an ornithologist (one who studies birds). In addition to his firefly research, he has also broken new ground in the study of the previously unknown migration patterns of the Veery songbird.   Sometimes when he takes his wife and two daughters camping, Dr. Heckscher often makes his research work a part of the outing. Fortunately his wife Jennie, is an entomologist who teaches at Waters Middle School in Middletown, Del., shares his never-ending scientific curiosity.   “When we go camping, I may plan to be somewhere in the area of fireflies,” Dr. Heckscher said. “If I can collect data while on vacation… why not?”

Oct. 22 Guest Lecture by Dr. Michael Mackay CANCELLED

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The guest lecture by nationally recognized nanotechnology expert Dr. Michael E. Mackay scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 the Mishoe Science Center South has been CANCELLED.   There is currently no information concerning any possible rescheduling of this guest lecturer.  

DSU Dedicates "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve" Arch on Campus

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Three DSU students -- (l-r) Christina Gomez, her brother Nicholas Gomez, and Ashley Rumph -- stand outside of the new arch in front of Loockerman Hall that bears the campus expectation of them -- "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."

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10/14/13 (L-r) Dr. Gladys Motley, former DSU vice president of Student Affairs; DSU President Harry L. Williams, and alumni couple Dolores and Donald Blakey, stand at the unveiled arch bearing the words Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. Delaware State University has brought back a once prominent motto that greeted all who entered the front gate of the institution from the 1950s to the 1990s. While the current “Making Our Mark on the World” continues to be a guiding motto of expectation, the University has also brought back another motto that guided students for more than 40 years – “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” That latter motto has been reincarnated in a 10-foot high black iron arch installed at the front entrance of the gate that surrounds historic Loockerman Hall. DSU President Harry L. Williams led an Oct. 11 dedication ceremony at the historic building for the new physical manifestation of restored motto. “We have chosen to install it outside Loockerman Hall because this building was the main place on a very fledgling campus where early students “entered to learn” ---it served as the Main College Building for this institution’s first 37 years of existence,” Dr. Williams said, “The unveiling of the famous words at the entrance of this historic building establishes a landmark that will be just as meaningful to our present and future DSU students as it was to many of DSU’s alumni in the latter half of the 1900s.” The restored motto was first established 1952 when the late Felmon Motley, a 1948 graduate of then-Delaware State College, constructed a sign for the front entrance of the campus which stated “May All Who Enter Here, Enter to Learn and Go Forth to Serve.” DSU President Harry L. Williams stands at the arch with DSU alumnus Samuel Guy, who made the current administration aware of the beloved motto. Dr. Gladys Motley, the widow of Mr. Motley, and the former longtime vice president of Student Affairs at DSU, shared with the dedication gathering the story of her late husband’s work in making the sign and his dedication in staying actively connected to his alma mater. “Felmon loved Delaware State, and Delaware State loved Felmon,” Dr. Motley said. The motto was a part of the front gate of the campus for 45 years; however, the sign was removed when the University launched a project in 1997 to eliminate the two one-way streets that formerly stretched from the main gate to the center of the campus and replace them with the current pedestrian mall. When the project was completed in 1997, the sign was never restored. Many alumni never forgot the motto; however, without the physical sign bearing its words incoming students from that point on never knew it existed. DSU alumnus Dr. Donald A. Blakey said it was invigorating to see the University bring back the motto, and noted that both mottos complement each other well. “Students come to DSU be educated and then they are expected to go out and serve,” said Dr. Blakey, class of 1958. “While they are doing that, they are making their mark on the world in a positive way.” Leonard Hudson, a 1971 graduate of DSC who went on use his BS in Business Administration to work for AT&T and Verizon, said the motto encouraged him to continue to serve his alma mater. “I had a strong motivation to send students to Delaware State,” Mr. Hudson said. “I believe the motto had a strong impact on a lot of people that went to school here in those years.” Wilmington attorney Samuel L. Guy, who graduated from DSC in 1981, is credited for being a catalyst in bringing that motto to the attention of the current administration about a year ago. “Everyday students were reminded of it; when their parents brought them back to school, they saw what was expected of their sons and daughters here at Delaware State,” Mr. Guy said. “And it was all because there was a physical manifestation of the motto there.” In addition to the dedication of the arch, a new historical item was also unveiled to the gathering at Loockerman Hall. Earlier this year while doing research at the Kent County Record of Deeds, Carlos Holmes, DSU director of News Services, was able to unearth a copy of the original 1891 deed that legally documents the purchase of first 95¼ acres by the Board of Trustees of the then-State College for Colored Students from Catharine McKaine, a widow, for the establishment of the College. The three-page deed – which reflects that the original property was purchased for $4,400 – now hangs in the entrance foyer of Loockerman Hall. About 50 people attended the Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve arch dedication ceremony at Loockerman Hall. While the dedication program was held inside the historic building due to the rain, many of the attendees posed for a picture outside in front of the arch, rainy conditions notwithstanding (see below).   Many of the Arch Dedication Ceremony attendees braved the pelting rain for a photo opp in front of the new arch.    

AKAs Win DSU's 2013 Divine 9 Challenge

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Tha ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrate their Divine 9 Challenge victory on the field during halftime of the Oct. 12 Homecoming game.

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10/14/13 The Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., celebrate their victory on the Alumni Stadium football field during the halftime of the Homecoming game.   The Divine Nine Challenge has recognized the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Inc., as the 2013 Most Divine Among the Nine at Delaware State University.   The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha raised $1,720 during the online challenge with a thrilling late push.   DSU’s Divine 9 Challenge engages fraternities and sororities in a competition to raise scholarship dollars for DSU students.  The online giving challenge took place from Oct. 4-12.   In addition to being recognized during the Oct. 12 Homecoming football game, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will also be honored for their winning effort during the Dec. 14 President’s Scholarship Ball and as well as in future publications.   Omega Psi Phi and Delta Sigma Theta finished second and third, respectively, in the Divine 9 Challenge. The total amount raise was $3,715.

DSU's Pi Eta of Kappa Alpha Psi wins National Chapter of the Year.

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Brandon Allen, Pi Eta president, and Calvin Carter, advisor, accept the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award at the fraternity's national gathering in Houston, Tx.

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The Pi Eta Chapter (Delaware State University) of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., has been honored as the Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award recipient by the national Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.   The Edward G. Irvin Undergraduate Chapter of the Year Award is the highest Grand Chapter award available to undergraduate chapters for outstanding achievement in the community and at their respective university. Pi Eta was able to win this award among 700-plus chapters in the fraternity. Pi Eta has not only represented Kappa Alpha Psi very well in their achievements, but also Delaware State University. It is the first time in the chapter's history that it has won that national honor.   The award was presented to the Pi Eta Chapter at the national fraternity’s 81st Grand Chapter Meeting on Aug. 6-11 in Houston, Texas. 2013.

Filmmaker Lee Daniels Tells His Story at DSU

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Dr. Dolores Finger Wright, associate professor of sociology, gets some love from Lee Daniels follow his Oct. 17 guest speaking engagement in the Education and Humanities Theater on campus.

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Filmmaker Lee Daniels kept it “real” at DSU Education & Humanities Theater on Oct. 17 The director of the critically acclaimed and box office hit Lee Daniel’s The Butler was the guest speaker as part of the DSU Office of Student Affairs’ Make Your Mark Speakers Series. Mr. Daniel shared with the well-attended gathering his life story from his youth to his successful career in the film industry. For images of Mr. Daniels’ visit, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information on the event. At the end of the article, there is also a link to a video clip of a DSU Inside Perspective interview of the filmmaker. To see an interview on DSU Inside Perspective, click on the following DSU YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozItw74Dsf4 Mr. Daniels began by noting that he did not finish college, and told the students in attendance that they are blessed. “You should enjoy your tenure here at Delaware State University,” he said. The Philadelphia native noted that he became involved in the film industry at a time before black directors began to have some success. “There weren’t any mentors, no Spike Lee yet, no blacks working behind the scene,” Mr. Daniels said. “Survival instincts took me from early college to Hollywood.” While he began by directing small theatre ensembles in Baldwin Hills, Ca., he also took a job as a receptionist for a nursing agency. Then with a keen sense of opportunity, Mr. Daniels started his own nursing agency. “I stole five of their clients and took all the black girls (nurses) with me,” he said, to the humor of the gathering. After making what he said “an enormous amount of money” he sold his business and refocused his efforts on the film industry. He went to work as a casting director and an actors’ agent, contributing to the casting of films such as Prince’s Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon. Lee Daniels gave a frank account of his life and career at a well-attended gathering in the E&H Theater on campus. “I learned from the ground up what it was like to be on the (filming) set,” Mr. Daniels said. “That was my school.” He was later hired by Warner Brothers to be its head of minority talent, a post that brought him in contact with a lot of talented black actors. He was later inspired by the Broadway show “Dreamgirls,” which inspired him to launch his own casting agency. However, he said, there was still not an abundance of significant acting jobs for African American performers. “Then I got the idea for (the 2001 film) Monster’s Ball and produced it,” Mr. Daniels said. He added that there were many who predicted that the film would not do well. “I am very proud of the fact that Halle Berry was the first black woman to win the Academy Award (for Best Actress),” he said. He eluded to his past drug problem, he noted that night Ms. Berry received the Award, he could not attend the celebration party afterward because he was at home “with his crack pipe.” He said his responsibility to raise his adopted children prompted him to give up drugs for good soon thereafter. “I thought I was saving them, and they ended up saving me,” said the filmmaker, who noted that he has been drug-free from illegal substances for 17 years. Mr. Daniel detail there rest of his filmography journey: The Woodsman, a 2004 film he produced about a pedophile trying to assimilate back into society after serving a jail sentence; Shadowboxer (2005), his first directorial effort; Tennessee (2008), which he produced starring singer Mariah Carey; Precious (2009), which he directed and produced and resulted in a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Mo’Nique; The Paperboy (2012); as well as The Butler. “When Halle Berry won the Oscar, I thought it doesn’t get any better than this,” Mr. Daniels said. “But God said, ‘no Negro, it does’ .” As he shared his life story, he quite frankly talked about his gay sexual orientation and the challenges it has caused for him. At the end of his presentation, he took numerous questions from the audience and gave some advice to those who aspire to make it in the film industry, noting toughness is required. “It is a cutthroat business,” Mr. Daniels said. Watch a video interview with Mr. Daniels on a segment of DSU Inside Perspective.  

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