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IWC construction site to be closed in

Keeping the snow out means more work can be done on the inside of the Innovation and Wellness Centre building.

While the Queen’s community gets into the holiday spirit by hanging festive decorations, the Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC) construction crews are getting ready to hang the last panes of glass on the north side of the building.

Once the glass is in place the entire building will be closed in, keeping the snow out and allowing contractors to complete more interior work.

The Innovation and Wellness Centre at night. (Supplied Photo)
The snow is flying, and so are the glass panels as they are expertly hoisted into place by construction crews working on the IWC. (Supplied Photo)

“With the recent work completed on the roof and exterior of the IWC, we are on track to keep our New Years’ resolution of having the building enclosed by the end of 2017,” says Bob Polegato, Project Manager with Physical Plant Services. “While the Queen’s community is tucking into holiday dinners and unwrapping presents, our crews will be unboxing supplies to continue the work indoors from Dec 27 to 29.”

Once the site is weathertight, it will be heated to help construction move to the next phase. Some exterior sections, like the north staircase, won’t be completed until spring, however.

The IWC is scheduled to open Fall 2018. The creation of the IWC was made possible through $55 million in philanthropic support. In addition, the federal and Ontario governments contributed a combined total of nearly $22 million.

Community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program expands to full-time model

The Faculty of Education is now offering its community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) on a new full-time model that will provide teacher candidates with greater skills and knowledge to teach in the primary-junior level at First Nations or Ontario provincial schools, as well as the opportunity to obtain a transitional certificate.

Community-based ATEP graduation
Peter Chin, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, for the Faculty of Education, stands with a group of graduates from the community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP). 

Beginning in May 2018, teacher candidates attend classes at Queen’s for one summer session and at Kenjgewin Teg on Manitoulin Island for two fall terms, two winter terms and one summer term. Experientially-based, the program also offers supervised teaching placements in First Nations and provincial school settings.

Under the new model, teacher candidates in the program can choose between two study concentrations: Aboriginal Language Teacher, which prepares them to teach an Aboriginal language; or Northern Teacher, which prepares them to work in a rural or remote setting.

The application period is currently open. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 1, 2018.

Class scheduling is designed to accommodate teacher candidates who work or have other responsibilities and must continue to live in their home communities. The program begins with orientation and extended weekend classes offered at Kenjgewin Teg located at M’Chigeeng First Nation. Spring classes and a three-week practicum in a First Nation or provincial school are followed by a short summer session on campus at Queen’s in July. Students return to Kenjgewin Teg for fall and winter classes in Year One and Year Two. Classes are offered over extended weekend sessions held about once a month and some course content is offered online. The program concludes with a community-based summer session to be offered on Manitoulin Island in the summer of 2020.

Through the new program, following an assessment during their first practicum and successful completion of summer session courses, teacher candidates may apply toreceive a transitional teaching certificate issued by the OCT. This will allow teacher candidates who are currently working in a classroom teaching position to fulfill practicum requirements while continuing their teaching job.

“The new model enhances access to this program by allowing teacher candidates to spend the majority of their time in the communities,” says Peter Chin, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies. “The introduction of the transitional certificate is an important feature of the program, because many teacher candidates can continue their teaching jobs and apply the teaching time towards their practicum requirement. While most of the program is delivered in their community, the teacher candidates engage in the Queen’s community during their first semester on campus and through the virtual learning.”

Many of the community-based ATEP’s courses will be taught by professors of Aboriginal ancestry, and learning opportunities include the application of Aboriginal perspectives to theory and practice, problem solving with peers, and review of Aboriginal and other curriculum resources in conjunction with provincial curriculum guidelines.

For ATEP Coordinator Lindsay Morcom, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, introducing the Indigenous language teacher stream is particularly exciting as it responds directly to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

“Graduates from our program will be OCT-qualified teachers with the language knowledge and teaching skill to provide students in the Manitoulin-North Shore region and beyond with access in school to the Anishinaabemowin language, either through language classes or immersion education,” she says. “They will also be able to support the policy of the United Chiefs and Council of Mnidoo Mnising to offer all services, including education, in the Anishinaabemowin language by 2030.  We are working closely with our partners in the Manitoulin-North Shore region to ensure that the program is culturally and linguistically accurate and appropriate and reflects local goals for education and self-determination as we develop the curriculum for this exciting new educational opportunity.

For applicants of Aboriginal ancestry, the community-based ATEP can be entered with Grade 12 or equivalent (Diploma in Education), or can be entered with an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Education).  Applicants who are non-Aboriginal are also encouraged to apply, but must hold an undergraduate degree before beginning the program.

For more information, visit the ATEP Community-Based webpage.

Queen’s alumna wins prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship

Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, recently received a Schwarzman Scholarship and will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing. (Supplied Photo) 

Heather Evans (Com’16) thrives in stressful situations. When she was a commerce student at Queen’s, she successfully juggled schoolwork with launching a 3D printing company, Mosaic Manufacturing, with four other students. She and her cofounders were recognized as the top venture in the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative winning $40,000.

She beat long odds and is preparing for another heavy workload as she prepares to head to China next year after receiving a prestigious scholarship.

Ms. Evans is one of 142 people selected from a field of more than 4,000 applicants from across the globe to receive a Schwarzman Scholarship. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships, Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group, founded the program three years ago with an aim to promote international understanding. Mr. Schwarzman personally contributed more than $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $500 million.

“It was the best feeling in the world. I cannot wait to move to Beijing,” Ms. Evans says. “I think it will be one of the most interesting, intense, and craziest things I have ever done. The scholarship is extremely generous, so I have the freedom to stop working, pause my life and move to China for 11 months.”

Ms. Evans still has a small stake in Mosaic Manufacturing but is no longer involved in its day-to-day operations. Upon graduation from Queen’s, Ms. Evans launched a second startup through Canada’s Next36 and now works for the Government of Ontario in technology strategy and was very involved in launch of Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Ms. Evans and the other Schwarzman scholars will live and study together for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the top universities in China. All expenses are covered by the scholarship. 

She feels her year in China, which starts in August 2018, will be an amazing opportunity to learn about one of the world’s most powerful economies. That’s an important lesson for any entrepreneur.

“The Chinese culture and economy is completely foreign to me as someone who has grown up in Canada,” says Ms. Evans, who was born and raised in Kingston. “Living in Beijing seems like one of the best ways to have a better understanding of how China operates.

When she started at Queen’s she didn’t feel like an entrepreneur. She is grateful that Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC), and Jim McLellan (Sc’81, PhD’90), Academic Director of the DDQIC, convinced her to take part in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative and helped teach her the tools to succeed in business.

“Heather is smart and a hard worker. These are the kind of people we look for at the Dunin-Deshpande Centre – people who have drive and curiosity,” says Mr. Bavington. “This is what makes successful entrepreneurs. I know she will do well in China.”

Increasing access for under-represented populations

New admission policy and financial award aim to encourage students, who would be the first in their families to attend university, to come to Queen’s.

Queen's University Senate has approved a new first-generation student admission policy that aims to encourage students who would be the first in their families to attend university to come to Queen’s.

New admission policy and financial award aim to increase access to Queen’s University.
The First-Generation Student Admission Policy aims to increase access to Queen’s University for students who would be the first in their family to attend a post-secondary institution. (University Communications) 

These students may face socio-economic barriers to furthering their education, and may not be aware of all of the post-secondary options available to them. The policy builds on longstanding outreach, recruitment, and support initiatives in Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment and the Student Experience Office. It provides an additional and alternative pathway to Queen’s for first-generation applicants who are participating in identified community-based programs that help youth in low-income communities complete secondary school, and prepare for a successful transition to post-secondary study.

“Queen’s is working to encourage more applicants from a broad range of under-represented populations, including first-generation students, and those facing educational or socio-economic disadvantage,” says Stuart Pinchin, Executive Director, Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment. “This pathway specifically supports first-generation applicants from Pathways to Education, and the Boys and Girls Club’s Raising the Grade programs, as well as youth who are Crown wards, as a start. We aim to expand eligibility as we form more partnerships with additional organizations.”

In 2017-18, 4.2 per cent of the incoming first-year undergraduate class self-identified as first generation on their application. The First-Generation Student Admission Policy is modelled on the university’s Aboriginal Admission Policy, which has resulted in a 156 per cent increase in acceptances among self-identified Indigenous students, since 2011.

Consistent with the Aboriginal Admission Policy, a First Generation admission award has been established that is available to students who are granted admission through this new policy. This new award builds on the financial aid currently available to all first-generation students at Queen’s, which includes need-based admission bursaries. Queen’s also offers a specific bursary for Pathways to Education students.

“Pathways to Education Kingston is very excited about the First-Generation Student Admission Policy, as it sends the message that ‘first gen’ students belong at Queen’s,” says Holly Platz, Program Facilitator, Career Mentoring, Pathways to Education. “It’s fantastic that increased supports and services will be available to help Pathways to Education students make the transition to post-secondary studies, and we anticipate that many students will benefit from this policy. There is a growing relationship between Pathways to Education and Queen’s University that is having a wonderful impact on Kingston youth.”

Learn more about applying under the policy.

Community weighs in on undergraduate orientation

The Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group hosted two public town halls, and has been meeting with key stakeholders. 

Dozens of students, faculty, and staff turned up to two recent public town halls to discuss how to make undergraduate orientation more welcoming and inclusive for new students. 

The town halls were announced in October as part of the ongoing review of undergraduate orientation. They were organized by the Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group and led by its chair Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion).  

“These consultations provided us with some valuable insights as we seek ways to ensure that orientation is safe, accessible, responsible, inclusive, and builds a sense of community,” says Dr. Shearer. “On behalf of the working group, I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend and provide their feedback, and those who continue to provide feedback in the coming months.” 

These public town halls were one aspect of the review process. The working group has also met with several other groups across the campus community, and continues to solicit input through their webpage and the orientation.review@queensu.ca email address. 

The town hall sessions featured three questions: 

  1. What do you believe is the most important thing Queen’s should do to create a welcoming and inclusive orientation for new undergraduate students? 

  1. In what ways is Queen’s orientation inclusive and accessible for those of different abilities, races, gender and gender identities, religion, sexes and sexual identities, and/or socio-economic statuses? In what ways can we do better? 

  1. Ideally, how should orientation prepare new undergraduate students for their time at Queen’s, both academic and non-academic? 

In response, the attendees, most of whom were students, focused in on the costs of participating in and organizing orientation, the need to enhance coordination across all student societies and other units or organizations that plan orientation activities, creating opportunities for inclusion of all students, and better preparing new students for academic success. 

The Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group’s report is due to the Principal on March 1, 2018. 

Canada’s first Inuk heart surgeon

"Donna May Kimmaliardjuk"
On her way to becoming Canada's first Inuk heart surgeon, Donna May Kimmaliardjuk (Artsci'11) began her studies in Life Sciences at Queen's University. 

Donna May Kimmaliardjuk (Artsci’11) is completely comfortable doing open-heart surgery every day as a resident at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Being a role model is something the 28-year-old Queen’s Life Sciences grad finds a little more challenging.

Dr. Kimmaliardjuk is Canada’s first Inuk heart surgeon.

The distinction has put her in the spotlight and brought pride to the people in her community of Chesterfield, Nunavut. She has been profiled by national media outlets and recently received an Indspire Award (formerly called the National Aboriginal Achievement Award).

Dr. Kimmaliardjuk is trying to embrace the spotlight but admits the idea of people looking up to her will take some time to get used to. Being regarded as a pioneer among her community while still in the formative years of her career as a heart surgeon can be a difficult position, but she has remained grateful and humble about her accomplishments.

“(Being a role model) is something I am growing into, but I am very honoured by it,” she says. “I am happy to share my story and to be a part of celebrating all Indigenous accomplishments in all different areas of life.”

She was born in Winnipeg and then lived in Nunavut for only a few months as a baby before her family moved to Ottawa, where Dr. Kimmaliardjuk grew up. But many family members still live in the community, so the North remains a big part of her life and culture. After graduating from Queen’s, she went to medical school at the University of Calgary before moving back to Ottawa to do her residency.

She describes her Queen’s experience as “very happy.” The four years she spent in Kingston were formative and she was very involved in campus life. She was president of the Queen’s Native Student Association for two years and also served as the undergraduate representative to the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University.

“The Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre had a big role in my life at Queen’s – a much bigger role than I ever thought when I first went there. I met such amazing women that I now consider family, role models and mentors who helped shape me into who I am today,” Dr. Kimmaliardjuk says. “Queen’s Life Sciences was the perfect program for me. It prepared me and exposed me to what to expect at medical school.”

While it may be surprising to some that Dr. Kimmaliardjuk is the first Inuk heart surgeon, she notes that modern western civilization was slow to come to the North. People were focused on living off the land, not thinking about traveling thousands of kilometres south to get a university degree. Even today, many barriers to higher education remain for people in the North – such as socioeconomic as well as the culture shock of living in a big city.

“To put it in perspective, my mother’s parents were literally born in igloos. So that is only two generations ago,” Dr. Kimmaliardjuk says. “It is pretty remarkable that we went from people living off the land to me working in a major hospital doing open-heart surgery every day.”

This article was first published on the Queen's Alumni website.

From diploma to degree

Queen’s University signs partnerships with Canada’s major mining colleges to support the online Bachelor of Mining Engineering Technology program.

Audrey Penner, Vice President Academic and Student Success, Northern College, and David Yokom, Queen's BTech Program Manager.

Queen’s University has partnered with mining programs at three major colleges in Canada through a new diploma-to-degree program designed to help ease the transition from college to university.

In 2016, Queen’s launched its online Bachelor of Mining Engineering Technology (BTech) program, designed for college-educated engineering technologists and technicians looking to advance their career and education. Students gain transfer credits from their college diploma and complete a customized bridging curriculum before being admitted directly into the third year of the program. The program’s blend of online learning, team assignments, and on-site field training means students can study full- or part-time from anywhere in the world.

While the program admits eligible graduates of any college engineering technology program, the newly-signed articulation and transfer agreements between Queen’s and Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology, Cambrian College, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic, map out a clear pathway to graduation for alumni of the partner institutions.

“By formalizing these partnerships, we’ve identified the eligible transfer credits and courses these students will have to take during their bridge year,” explains David Yokom, Queen’s BTech Program Manager. “Candidates from these three colleges will have the advantage of knowing exactly what it will take to earn a Queen’s Bachelor of Mining Engineering Technology degree before they even apply.”

Graduates of programs not covered by articulation and transfer agreements will be assessed upon admission for potential transfer credits and assigned a custom bridging curriculum.

“Partnering with Queen’s is a win-win for us,” says Aaron Klooster, Associate Dean of the School of Trades and Technology at Northern College, which includes the renowned Haileybury School of Mines. “Adding a leading Canadian university credential to Northern College’s well-established name in the mining diploma environment will open big doors for our graduates.”

The Queen’s BTech program is already exceeding enrolment targets and looking to grow further.

“The college to university pathway is one of the fastest growing education markets,” says Mr. Yokom. “This program gives college graduates an opportunity to advance their education, while providing industry with the skilled and experienced staff they need.”

Development of the BTech program was funded by a 2014 grant from the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), with matching funds from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University.

World Link program wraps for semester with focus on inclusivity

Fall workshops support social and academic cultural transition and connects students from around the world  

A series of workshops and social events designed to help international students adapt to their new life at Queen’s has wrapped up for the semester.

Students gather in the Queen’s University International Centre for a presentation on diversity hosted by Stephanie Simpson, Director, Human Rights Office. (Supplied Photo)
Students gather in the Queen’s University International Centre for a presentation on diversity hosted by Stephanie Simpson, Director, Human Rights Office. (Supplied Photo) 

The World Link program’s final event, held last week, focused on culture, identity, and inclusivity. Stephanie Simpson, Director of the Human Rights Office, led the session, and talked about how identity may be interpreted in Canada while providing tips and resources for navigating difficult circumstances.

The program is facilitated by the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) and is delivered in partnership with Student Wellness Services, the Student Experience Office, and the Human Rights Office. It will be offered again in the winter term.

The World Link program was enhanced this year to focus on intercultural communication skills and competencies, resiliency, and the appreciation of diverse cultures. The events are co-led by students fostering peer-to-peer engagement and learning.  

QUIC Director Jyoti Kotecha says undergraduate, graduate, and exchange students in all years and programs, both international and domestic, are invited to participate. All events are drop-in and registration is not required.

“The World Link discussions and activities help students develop skills, ease cultural transitions, and enhance knowledge and perspectives,” she says. “It is great to see students leave the sessions feeling empowered and confident in their ability to successfully bridge cultural differences, and to feel better prepared to fully engage in student life at Queen’s.”  

Jing Wang (Con.Ed’18) is a teacher candidate in concurrent education who volunteers with World Link. She grew up in Toronto, went to high school in Shanghai, and spent a semester on exchange in Germany.

"The workshops and events that the World Link program hold help both domestic and international students learn from and support one another. And so, while our events are designed to promote intercultural awareness, they are also an opportunity to make new friends, and we have been pleased to see many returning attendees at our events and workshops. Having the social support from other peers can make a big difference in one's transition into another country and also enrich one's university experience in general," she says.

For more information on World Link or other Queen’s events, visit QUIC’s website.

Faculty members honoured for excellence in graduate student supervision

Drs. David Lyon, Suning Wang, and John Freeman (posthumous) are being recognized for their mentorship by the School of Graduate Studies.

During graduate research work, having a supportive supervisor is critical. The relationship between student and supervisor sets research in motion and keeps it on the right track. A strong relationship is important to a graduate student’s success and well-being.

The School of Graduate Studies annually recognizes two leading graduate supervisors with the Awards for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. The 2017 recipients include Dr. David Lyon (Sociology) and Dr. Suning Wang (Chemistry). Dr. John Freeman (Education) was also recognized posthumously with an Honourable Mention, calling attention to his role as a gifted supervisor who had a major and lasting impact on his students both in their personal and professional lives.

“The School of Graduate Studies congratulates these outstanding educators and thanks them for their leadership, mentorship, and contributions to enriching the academic experience of their graduate students,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “Mentoring and guiding graduate students throughout their studies is a tremendous responsibility and privilege. Drs. Lyon and Wang are role models who demonstrate how impactful quality supervision is in the lives of our students.”

Learn more about this year’s recipients:


Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73), Rector Cam Yung (Artsci'16), and Dean of Graduate Studies Brenda Brouwer present David Lyon with his award at Fall Convocation 2017. (University Communications)
Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73), Rector Cam Yung (Artsci'16), and Dean of Graduate Studies Brenda Brouwer present David Lyon with his award at Fall Convocation 2017. (University Communications)

David Lyon

Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre and Professor of Sociology and Professor of Law, David Lyon has supervised 28 graduate students to completion, each of whom has benefited from his full commitment and support. His students come from around the world, and the international mix of supervisees highlights his profile as an award-winning, international scholar with tremendous impact.

Under his supervision, students enjoy being able to learn and socialize with others from different backgrounds, life-experiences, and educational training. Dr. Lyon provides his students with opportunities to meet other international scholars, present their work at high profile conferences, and feel at home within a global community of researchers.

Dr. Lyon is praised by current and past students for challenging them academically as well as helping them grow as individuals. His students value the strong personal and scholarly bonds they have formed with him; while they rely on his expertise and scholarly advice, they also share time in conversation, exploring everything from the simple problems of everyday life to profound philosophical issues. Dr. Lyon’s students have excelled in their academic endeavours, and his students have gone on to successful careers around the world in academic and non-academic settings.


Suning Wang

Professor of Chemistry at Queen’s since 1996 and currently University Research Chair, Dr. Wang has supervised 13 MSc and 24 PhD students, as well as 18 postdoctoral fellows. The calibre of her supervision and mentorship is evident in the success of her graduate students in winning prestigious academic prizes, fellowships, and their success in faculty positions, and research careers in industry and government laboratories.

Dr. Wang’s students credit her with supporting life-changing personal growth, stemming from her care and concern for each student as an individual. She challenges her students to think critically about science, ask difficult and important questions, ethically communicate scientific findings, and continually grow as researchers. Dr. Wang is always available to her students and helps them stay on track, but she lets them make mistakes so that they gain a sense of ownership over their projects. Beyond encouraging and supporting her students in writing manuscripts for publication, preparing conference presentations, learning new techniques, and interacting with an international community of scholars, she never loses sight of the fact that they are people living complicated lives.

Dr. Wang makes an effort to get to know each of her students individually and is deeply invested in their success. She shares her own curiosity and passion for academic research while also respecting and accepting students’ individual ambitions. In the words of one of her students, “it is this combination of personal and professional investment in her students as individuals that makes Dr. Wang a truly exceptional graduate supervisor.”

Dr. Wang will be recognized and presented with her award at Spring Convocation 2018.


About The Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision

This annual award recognizes those outstanding supervisors who demonstrate excellence in advising, monitoring and mentoring their graduate students. Excellence is judged on the quality of supervision and mentorship in facilitating the acquisition of skills and resources needed for the student to succeed as scholars and professionals. Characteristics include availability, timeliness and quality of guidance and feedback, responsiveness to student needs, and enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge. In addition, the supervisor must promote timely completion of the thesis and encourage the career development of the student through the provision of leadership and support in academic matters such as publishing, presenting, and applying for funding.

Preference is given to faculty members who have displayed sustained mentorship activity over many years.

Nominations open in February, and awards are presented at Convocation.

Looking at the big career picture

Jenn Li (ConEd’17), President of the Alma Mater Society, visited the It All Adds Up booth at the Athletics and Recreation Centre, and filled up the white board with how her university experience adds up for her. (Photo by Candice Pinto)
Jenn Li (ConEd’17), President of the Alma Mater Society, visited the It All Adds Up booth at the Athletics and Recreation Centre, and filled up the white board with how her university experience adds up for her. (Photo by Candice Pinto)

It All Adds Up, Career Services’ career wellness campaign, launched this week in the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) with students taking a few minutes to reflect on how it all added up for them.

The purpose of It All Adds Up is to help students reflect on their activities and interests in and outside the classroom and build understanding and confidence that what they were doing was “adding up.”

To add it all up, students are encouraged to write their various classroom and extra-curricular initiatives on a whiteboard/chalkboard and post a picture of themselves with their whiteboard on Instagram using the #ItAllAddsUp hashtag.

Originating at Queen’s University as a partnership between Career Services and the Alma Mater Society, It All Adds Up has spread to over 48 career centres across Canada, and the globe, with the Bader International Study Centre participating for the first time this year.

To learn more about It All Adds Up and how it can add up for you, visit italladdsup.ca


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