Junior Joins Forces with a 2009 Graduate to Make History Rock in Paris

Two remarkable qualities of a Hollins education are the opportunities for real-world experience that alumnae champion for current undergraduates, and the wide range of study abroad options that the university fosters around the globe.

Throughout this academic year, Liza Davis ’19 is enjoying the best of both worlds. The double-major in communication studies and French is living in Paris and interning with Imerys Carbonates, an international company that mines, transforms, and creates functional minerals for a variety of applications from plastics, paints, and film to pharmaceuticals and even calcium fortifications for orange juice and toothpaste. Davis’s internship doesn’t consist of menial tasks: She serves as the manager and content creator for an important social media campaign called “History Rocks in Paris.”

“Our main goal is to show some of the many places where you can find carbonates in Paris,” Davis explains. “Carbonates are minerals found in the earth and three of the most common forms that Imerys works with are marble, chalk, and limestone.

“Paris has tons of carbonates. For example, there are thousands of marble statues and buildings and there are also limestone tunnels that crisscross the whole city. Minerals are a difficult product to make relatable to regular people, so what better way to make carbonates interesting than to talk about them in relation to Paris.”

The catalyst behind Davis’s internship is Lauren Dale ’09, who serves as a global communications strategist for Imerys. She transferred to the company’s Paris headquarters nearly two years ago after working in Imerys’s Atlanta office for two and a half years.

Lauren Dale '09
Lauren Dale ’09 is a global communications strategist with Imerys Carbonates in Paris.

“As the beneficiary of two competitive J-term internships hosted by alumnae, I have always been open to having a Hollins student as an intern,” she says. “I know the educational culture from which a Hollins woman is grown. My liberal arts degrees (she double-majored in communication studies and theatre) really rounded out my thinking process and Hollins gave me the courage to take risks – something that has paid off in my career. I would take a Hollins intern or employee in a heartbeat.”

Davis is specifically creating, delivering, and managing Instagram content around the “History Rocks” concept. “She is actively contributing to the development of this new (to our business) communications platform and campaign by developing the campaign overview, target subjects and content, hashtags and audience connection mechanisms, and of course, helping track the analytics,” Dale says. “In addition, she is working on a couple of other projects during her internship, adding ideas and providing support for some of our new engagements with her fresh young eyes. She is also, of course, bringing some American female diversity to a very French, masculine company!”

“I have done research on everything from who’s buried in the Pantheon to what kind of sealants hold the windows together in the Louis Vuitton Foundation,” Davis adds. “I’ve also looked at how social media campaigns can benefit companies like Imerys Carbonates. I am so excited about this campaign.”

Davis’s enthusiasm extends to the way of living she’s discovered in Paris. “This city constantly surprises me. Some of the stereotypes are true: French people do walk down the street carrying four or more baguettes at once! But others are false, such as the notion that Parisians aren’t friendly. One of the most striking things about these people, and something that really reminds me of Hollins, is the profound depth of their relationships. The French believe in truly meaningful bonds that last lifetimes, and it has touched me deeply to see the same kind of strong connections that I have found at Hollins in a city as big as Paris.”

Davis is quick to express her gratitude to Dale. “Being in this position for a longer time has allowed me to settle into a work routine and handle more long-term projects. I’ve been able to see what goes into the life of someone working internationally in the communications field, and that alone has been incredibly valuable for me. I’ve also been able to see the real-world applications of what I am studying, and that gives me guidance in my work at Hollins. I am so lucky to know that I will be walking away from this internship with projects done that I am proud of and that I can use in the future, and that’s all thanks to Lauren. On my first day, she sat down with me to make sure that I was going to get what I wanted out of this internship. Working with someone like her has definitely shown me the importance of taking initiative and helping others see the value in my work.”

In an interesting postscript, Dale shares that Hollins’s ties with the work of Imerys Carbonates go beyond her employment and Davis’s internship with the company. “I’m not sure what mineral comprises the Hollins Rock, but all those layers of paint on it probably have carbonates in them. Tinker Mountain, which we of course hike up on Tinker Day, is made of limestone. And Hollins sits on the Athens Shale, a blue-black limestone deposit that dates back 250 million years.

“Hollins women have been learning and creating history alongside our very own calcium carbonates for years!”

To see Davis’s work on the History Rocks in Paris campaign, visit @imeryscarbonates on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alumna and State Legislator Named Guest Speaker for 176th Commencement

Jennifer Barton Boysko ’89, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing parts of western Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County, will be the guest speaker for Hollins University’s 176th Commencement Exercises.

The ceremony takes place on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on the school’s historic Front Quadrangle.

Boysko, who double-majored in psychology and French at Hollins, embarked on a career in politics immediately after graduation. Her first job was in the U.S. Senate office of Richard Shelby from her home state of Alabama, and from there she went on to work for a Washington, D.C., government relations firm as a legislative assistant. In the early 2000s, she began volunteering with numerous Democratic campaigns in the Herndon, Virginia, area, where she has been a longtime resident, and elsewhere in the commonwealth. In 2004, she served as State Director for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.

In November 2015, Boysko was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates for the 86th District, which encompasses the localities of Herndon, Oak Hill, and Chantilly. She credits EMILY’s List, founded by Ellen Malcolm ’69, for providing financial and logistical help in her race. She is currently a member of the Cities, Counties, and Towns Committee; the Privileges and Election Committee; and the Broadband Advisory Committee. Education funding, access to health care, and reforming the political process are among her legislative priorities.

More details about this year’s commencement can be found here.

 


National Gallery Highlights Hollins Alumna, Acclaimed Photographer in “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings”

Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 is one of America’s most celebrated photographers, and the National Gallery of Art is presenting the first major international exhibition of her photographs of the South.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings brings together 115 photographs that offer insight into Mann’s connection with the literature, art, and history of her native region. Many of the photographs in the exhibition, which will be on view in the National Gallery of Art’s West Building in Washington, D.C., from March 4 through May 28, are being shown for the first time.

“In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South’s past on its present,” said National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. Powell, III.

A Thousand Crossings is a five-part exhibition. Family features photographs that Mann took of her three children during the 1980s at their summer cabin on Virginia’s Maury River. Swamplands, fields, and decaying estates that Mann discovered during her travels across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s highlight The Land.  Civil War battlefields are the focus of Last Measure, and Abide with Me investigates the role of race and history in shaping Virginia’s landscape and Mann’s own childhood and adolescence. The exhibition’s final section, What Remains, touches on themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family.

“With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann’s photographs,” Powell noted. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades.”

Mann has won numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001 she was named America’s Best Photographer by Time magazine. Her books of photographs include Immediate Family, At Twelve, and Mother Land. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2015, her memoir, Hold Still, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is a recipient of the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award.

 

Photo Credit: Betsy Schneider


Alumna Lights the Torch for Major Amateur Sports Competition

A Hollins alumna who has earned a place in Winter Olympics history was the honored guest at the kick-off to New York’s 38th Empire State Winter Games (ESWG).

Suzy Mink ’74, who was a member of the relay team that carried the Olympic torch 900 miles to Lake Placid for the 1980 Winter Olympics, helped launch the inaugural ESWG Torch Relay on January 29 in Manhattan. The relay’s 330-mile path goes from New York City to Lake Placid, where the ESWG Opening Ceremony takes place on February 1.Suzy Mink ESWG 2

According to a news release from ESWG, “The Torch Relay will call attention to the commitment New York State has to the Empire State Winter Games’ participating towns and villages, and the more than 2,500 athletes and winter sport enthusiasts across the Northeast and Canada who take part in the Games.”

Resplendent in the same uniform she wore while carrying the torch 38 years ago, Mink was designated “the number one lead torch lighter” at New York’s Battery Park by relay organizers. She then led a contingent along the Hudson River Walkway as part of an hour-long special event to start the relay.Suzy Mink ESWG 3

“In addition to calling attention to the Empire State Winter Games, we want to encourage people from across the region to get outside and play,” said Tait Wardlaw, ESWG director. “What better way to inspire others than to run from Manhattan to Lake Placid.”

Suzy Mink ESWG 5

 

 

Mink serves as Hollins’ senior philanthropic advisor and competes in triathlons throughout North America and Europe.


Hollins Alumna Is Recognized as One of the Outstanding Women in the Communications Industry

Alexandra Trower ’86 is joining Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Kim Kelleher, chief business officer for GQ, Golf Digest, Pitchfork, WIRED, and Ars Technica, in receiving one of the communications industry’s highest honors.

Trower, who is Executive Vice President, Global Communications, with The Estée Lauder Companies, has been named a winner of the 2018 Matrix Award. Presented by New York Women in Communications, the premier organization for communications professionals in the New York metropolitan area, the Matrix Award is awarded to extraordinary female leaders at the pinnacle of their careers. Previous winners of the Matrix Award include Today Show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie; Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls; and TIME editor Nancy Gibbs.

Trower is quick to credit her experience as an undergraduate at Hollins for empowering her with the tools to achieve such a distinguished career. “Any success I have had in my professional life starts and ends with Hollins,” she explained. “I became a true student at Hollins and benefited enormously from the incredible internships the school offered me. Those opportunities took me to Paris, Berkeley, California, and New York City, which ultimately became my home.”

Trower and Interns
Alexandra Trower ’86 talks with Hollins students who are interning in New York City during the 2018 January Short Term.

Estée Lauder Executive Chair William Lauder and Hollins University President Emerita Nancy Gray are among those who nominated Trower for the Matrix Award. They praised her dedication to promoting women’s education and health, a commitment that has manifested itself significantly in her role as a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees. “One of my passions has been to repay my debt to Hollins through board service, sponsoring internships, and serving as a student mentor,” Trower said. “I have worked with dozens of talented Hollins women over the years and it has been one of my greatest joys.”

One of the students who is effusive in her gratitude to Trower for her guidance and encouragement is senior Emili McPhail, who during her Hollins career has interned with Estée Lauder in New York and London. She also nominated Trower for the Matrix Award.

“I was a college sophomore with little work experience and Alex gave me a chance,” McPhail recalled. “She has championed me from the day I met her, and has fought for me to have every opportunity to succeed. Truly, it’s a privilege to know her as a mentor and role model. She has inspired the woman that I want to become.”

Trower assumed her current role with Estée Lauder, the world’s leading prestige beauty company, in 2008. In addition to serving as an Executive Officer of the Company and on the Executive Leadership Team, she is a founding member of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee and is an Executive Co-Sponsor of the company’s LGBTQA employee resource group. She oversees corporate, social, crisis, Lauder family, and philanthropic communications, including The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and whose mission is to end breast cancer in our lifetime.

Trower also serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), which supports female journalists worldwide who risk their lives to cover news that might not otherwise be reported. In 2014, she received the IWMF’s Corporate Leadership Award in recognition of her more than 15 years of service and fundraising.

“In the decade Ms. Trower has led global communications for The Estée Lauder Companies, she has, with her wisdom and grace, proven to be not just a highly talented communications executive but also a business strategist and key contributor to the company’s success,” said Lauder. “She is the effective leader who has come to her role from a place of humility and who is followed because she has the brightest ideas and can express them while leaving her ego behind. Her opinions are highly valued because she presents them only with the goal of promoting continued excellence.”

Trower, Brzezinski, and Kelleher will officially receive the Matrix Award at a special event in New York City on April 23.

 

 


Hollins Alumna Earns Society for Neuroscience’s Premier Prize

Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hatten ’71 has received the 2017 Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience, the highest recognition conferred by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

The prize honors an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to neuroscience throughout his or her career.

Hatten is the Frederick P. Rose Professor in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. She joined Rockefeller in 1992 and was appointed the university’s first female full professor and the first female to lead a research laboratory there. Her work has implications for conditions that are partially due to developmental abnormalities in the brain, such as learning disabilities, childhood epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Her work on cerebellar development may one day inform research on treatments for childhood cancers. Her previous accolades include the Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation; the Max Cowan Award, which honors a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuroscience; and election to the National Academy of Sciences.

“On behalf of SfN, it is my pleasure to congratulate Dr. Hatten and to thank her for her outstanding research contributions and the role they have played in advancing our understanding of how the brain develops,” SfN President Eric Nestler said. “As an internationally recognized leader in developmental neurobiology, she has made crucial discoveries of basic mechanisms of neurogenesis and neuronal migration during development.”

SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 38,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.


Hollins, Sweet Briar Alums Help Send Middle Schoolers to Book Festival

Caity Gladstone, a 2009 graduate of Sweet Briar College, is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in children’s literature at Hollins. She’s sharing her passion for the genre as the teacher of eighth grade writing classes at  G.W. Carver Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

About a month ago, Gladstone and a colleague partnered to register their students to attend the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, which is hosted each October by Longwood University in Farmville. After all, what better way to foster a love of reading in their young students? They ran into a problem, however: All the buses were spoken for and they would have to use a chartered bus.

Hiring a bus was outside of their budget, so Gladstone and her colleague asked their students’ parents to contribute. It soon became clear that the money for the charter bus was going to be hard to come by and  they wouldn’t be able to make the trip happen.

Gladstone wasn’t willing to accept defeat. She knew that she could call on alumnae from both Hollins and Sweet Briar to help make the trip possible.

“I have always believed in the amazing support of both of these small liberal arts colleges, and they really came through,” she said.

Hollins and Sweet Briar alumnae raised enough money to not only refund the parents who had already contributed, but also create a fund for future trips. Even better, they raised the amount in a mere eight hours. As a result, Gladstone’s students were able to attend the festival and get inspiration for their own writing. They got to meet several authors — including Aisha Saeed, Meg Medina, Lamar Giles, Dhonielle Clayton, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Jarret Krosoczka — and learn about their writing processes.

“Many of the students got to speak with authors one-on-one after the sessions,” Gladstone said. “More than a couple of them said the workshops were especially useful and that they planned on using the authors’ techniques in the future when they need inspiration or have writer’s block. I think they also got a great message that authors are diverse, and so is my student population.”

One student, Abbey Colomb said, “I think I came away from that field trip knowing that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Everyone starts somewhere and though you may have a talent for writing, nobody is going to be writing publishing-worthy books in the eighth grade. We can’t let that stop up us. We need to keep writing so that we can learn from mistakes.”

 

Photo caption: Caity Gladstone’s students visited the Longwood University campus in October to attend the Virginia Children’s Book Festival.

 

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Alumnae Share Expertise from Multitude of Fields at C3

“Welcome to the network!”

With that enthusiastic greeting to a packed audience of students in the Hollins Theatre, Judy Lambeth ’73 kicked off the opening session of the university’s sixth annual Career Connection Conference (C3), held October 23. Seventy-nine Hollins alumnae from a variety of fields returned to campus to talk about how they have translated their liberal arts education into satisfying careers. They also provided tips, tools, and tricks of the trade to land that first job.

“By attending Hollins, you are now a member of our alumnae network,” said Lambeth, who chairs Hollins’ Board of Trustees as well as the university’s alumnae engagement initiative. “That’s a community of highly intelligent, independent-minded, audacious women who are here today to help you in any way they can. We believe passionately that Hollins prepared us well for fulfilling lives and careers, and our education continues to enrich us every single day. Being a member of the Hollins community is a lifelong gift, and we are grateful for that. So, we want to give back by having your back. We are here today specifically to support you. We want you to soar, we want you to love whatever life throws at you and embrace it.”

During C3, students and alumnae engaged in the following events:

  • Interactive sessions featuring career women from the sciences, writing and publishing, business, financial services, education, law, visual and performing arts, and public service.
  • Special topics designed to facilitate alumnae testimonials and communicate practical skill sets. Highlights included building an effective resume, money matters, and life after Hollins, among others.
  • “Speed networking” with a large number of alumnae, as well meeting one-on-one through mock interviews, resume critiques, and conversations about the graduate school application process.
  • Small group discussions after the conference on a variety of topics, including diversity in the workplace.

Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, was this year’s C3 keynote speaker. Wells’ agency creates marketing strategies for clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors. She has spent nearly two decades connecting influencers and consumers to brand clients.

Wells’ address focused on the theme “What’s Next?” and offered “a little handbook you can use to figure out how to build those first ten years post-college, because the life I enjoy today is due to the work I did in those first ten years.” She noted the importance of  “developing that personal network, that personal board of directors that helps you make those key decisions and who holds you accountable. ‘Does this make sense?’ ‘Am I showing up authentically?’ ‘Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?’ Who better than your peers to call you on that.”

Wells encouraged students to join professional associations (“Is the industry you’re in on the rise or declining? Where are the jobs going to be over the next five years? These associations have all that information.”) as well as social clubs (“Too often when we graduate we think we have to be serious people and forget that we need to have fun.”). She also recommended creating a group of five like-minded peers (“Meet monthly with a group of people who have similar goals and visions and think about the world in a specific way. Be committed and helpful to one another and give each other tools. Don’t be competitive, but hold each other responsible for meeting goals.”).

Wells also emphasized her personal philosophy, “You can’t make withdrawals where you haven’t made deposits. Never go into a situation saying, ‘Can you give me….’ or ‘Can I pick your brain?’ There is always something you can do. Constantly ask yourself, ‘Am I making a request or am I contributing? How do I contribute the most to the places that matter the most to me?'”

In that vein, Lambeth urged students to share their own personal and professional experiences in the years to come. “We’re hoping you’ll change the world and we’re also hoping that on some future day, when you’ve found your career path, please come back to Hollins, attend a Career Connections Conference, and do the same thing for another generation of Hollins students.”

 

Photo caption: Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, was the keynote speaker for Hollins’ sixth annual Career Connection Conference (C3).

 

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Alumna Successfully Fights for Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction

New Hampshire is one of many states across the nation that is desperately seeking ways to battle a burgeoning epidemic of drug addiction. Thanks in large measure to the advocacy of a licensed acupuncturist and Hollins alumna, treatment providers now have a powerful new tool in their arsenal.

Elizabeth Ropp ’99, who lives in Manchester and has been a practicing acupuncturist for 10 years, fought for passage of House Bill 575, which permits recovery and mental health professionals in New Hampshire to use ear acupuncture to treat addicts.

“That might sound strange, but it works,” Ropp wrote last March in an opinion piece for the Concord Monitor. “Acupuncture can be a safe, cheap and effective tool to help people in all stages of addiction recovery. It can help soothe the symptoms of withdrawal, reduce cravings, and ease anxiety or trauma that can lead people to use drugs in the first place.”

She concluded, “New Hampshire is first-in-the-nation for death by fentanyl overdose. This is a problem that touches all of us. We need to open up as many pathways to recovery as possible. We are all in this together, and together we can get through this.”

According to Ropp, HB 575 allows for both licensed and non-licensed addiction recovery and mental health workers to be trained and certified in ear acupuncture, “a simple procedure that involves placing five tiny needles in specific points around the outer ear. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association has trained more than 10,000 health professionals across the country in this practice.”

Ropp and others effectively lobbied state senators and representatives from both political parties on the benefits of ear acupuncture and the steps necessary to make it affordable and eliminate unnecessary administrative costs. The bill became law on July 1.

“We could be trendsetters for the nation,” Ropp told the New Hampshire Union Leader in June. “With this bill, we have more flexibility, we have seen the mistakes other states have made in setting this up and learned from them.”

 

Photo Caption: Elizabeth Ropp ’99 (right) with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on the day House Bill 575 was passed into law.

 

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With Hollins Know-How and Connections, Recent Grad Gains Opportunity at Major Strategic Communications Firm

Just a few months after graduation, Tegan Harcourt ’17 is working with a company globally renowned for strategic planning and communications consultation, thanks to her Hollins experience and the backing of a dedicated alumnae network.

The international business major is a market research associate with New York City’s Berland Strategy & Analytics, which gauges public opinion, attitudes, and behaviors and crafts strategies for businesses and organizations to effectively compete in a range of venues worldwide. Berland has worked with the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as such diverse clients as the Estée Lauder Companies, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and the National Hockey League.

Harcourt’s journey to Berland began during her senior year at Hollins. “I was looking into what I wanted to do post-grad and there were so many things I was interested in that I wasn’t sure what to prioritize in my search,” she recalls. “But I was fortunate enough to be on the Presidential Search Committee last year as well as a guest member for Hollins Board of Trustees meetings in my role as president of the Student Government Association (SGA).”

Harcourt reached out to the committee and the board and “received an overwhelming amount of help and support. I am so grateful to everyone who contacted their network for me.” Committee member and trustee Alexandra Trower ’86 talked with Harcourt about her interest in market segmentation and her background in cultural studies and politics, and connected her with Berland Strategy & Analytics CEO Mike Berland. Their conversation resulted in an in-person interview in New York City over spring break in March, and “after meeting some of the team and few more phone interviews we worked out plans for a three-month internship with the potential for full-time employment if both sides felt it was a good fit by the end.”

Harcourt started her internship in late June and was “immediately fascinated. It’s a fierce, tight-knit group of intelligent, creative, and dedicated people taking on massive projects with very quick turnarounds. It was really great to start contributing to the work in a meaningful way right from the start.”

To mark her internship’s one-month anniversary, Harcourt’s supervisors took her out to breakfast. “They said it was great having me there to jump on any project that needed help and complimented my willingness to put in the time and effort.” Her supervisors asked her to stay at Berland in a full-time position, two months before the completion of her internship, and she signed her official offer letter on August 11.

In her role as market research associate, Harcourt helps facilitate projects from start to finish, working with conceptualizing and background research and doing everything from field work and data analysis to insight development and suggestions for next steps. “When my supervisor is out of the office, I coordinate the project work flow to make sure everything is moving along as it should,” she explains. “We do quantitative research through surveys and social media analysis and qualitative research with focus groups.”

Harcourt enthusiastically credits Hollins with “propelling me to this opportunity and making me ready and confident enough to accept it. My education in business, Spanish, and women’s leadership is what allowed me to take on this position and be as successful as I have been.”

She also emphasizes the importance and impact of her activities outside the classroom. “My Hollins internships not only shaped my understanding of what kind of work I would be interested in but also gave me the opportunity to learn new skills, network, and fall in love with cities like my new home, New York City. My work in SGA pushed me to work hard, learn more, listen more intently, trust my dreams, and value the people around me.”

 

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