May 27 2014

Seastrunk Receives Young Alumnus of the Year

Chad Seastrunk Young Alumnus of the YearChad Seastrunk is an alumnus who has taken every opportunity in his professional career to learn, listen, improve and dream outside of the box. Chad spoke to the graduating class in May after he accepted the College of Textiles Young Alumnus Award. He spoke of people that influenced him along the way and passed advice onto the graduates as they embark on their careers and life outside of NC State.


The Young Alumnus of the Year award was established in 2009 as a way to celebrate young alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and have made outstanding contributions in their field.  Chad Seastrunk, a 2004 bachelor of science and 2005 master of science in Textile Engineering graduate was the recipient for 2014. Chad is currently the Administrative Director of Operations for Duke Raleigh Hospital.


Chad was in the first class of Centennial Scholars and has given back tremendously to the College of Textiles in recruiting and service. Upon graduation he worked for NC State where he taught Six Sigma and worked with healthcare clients, including Duke University Health System, High Point Regional Health System and Wake Med Hospitals. In 2008, he went to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland as an Administrative Intern and Research Associate in the Department of Quality Improvement where he taught and lead various projects.


His career at Duke University Health System started in 2009 as a Management Engineer in Oncology Performance Services where he worked with all inpatient and outpatient oncology services on labor, productivity and volumes.  He knew his ultimate goal was to work and be a leader in hospital healthcare, therefore he attended UNC-Chapel Hill where he received a Masters in Healthcare Administration.  Less than two years later was promoted to Administrative Director of Duke Raleigh Cancer Center and Oncology Services responsible for all strategic and financial initiatives for the oncology service line.  At the beginning of 2013 he was promoted once again to Administrative Director of Operations responsible for the oncology service line, radiology, labs and environmental services and oversees multiple managers, directors and a staff of over 200 people.


Chad has never forgotten where he got his start and his love for the Wolfpack. Since graduation Chad has been a regular interviewer for the prestigious College of Textiles Centennial Scholarship funded by the North Carolina Textile Foundation and continues to be very involved in Six Sigma.  He has spoken and taught classes at NC State and is interested in helping textile students embark on healthcare careers.

Chad reports to the President of Duke Raleigh Hospital, Richard J. Gannotta, and he says this of Chad, “I have found Chad to be an incredibly adept professional with areas of content expertise which have enabled Duke Raleigh Hospital and more specifically our cancer center to expand its programmatic offering now providing a vast array of different modalities for the treatment of this most challenging of diseases.”


Below is Chad’s acceptance speech he gave at graduation on the lawn at the College of Textiles.


This is truly an honor to receive this award today.  As I thought about something I could share today with you, I thought back to three people that have truly had impacts on my life both professionally and personally.  The skills and advice that these people have given me are things that I continue to live my life by and I believe are what continue to help me be successful in my career.

Always dream big. The degree you are obtaining is coming from the best College of Textiles in the entire world.  Like some of you, I originally thought that this degree would only help me out to get a manufacturing job in the textile industry.  What I have found in the real world is that the intangible skills like team building, analytical, presentation skills and others are something that we get here, but not something that every college graduate has such a broad exposure to.  These skills translate to any job in any industry.  The skill I think that continues to set me apart is my presentation skills.  What most people do not know about me is that I was the shyest student in my high school. Doing this today would have freaked out the high school version of me. Talking in front of others was not something that I enjoyed or came naturally to me.  All of that changed when I stepped into my first TE class with Dr. Jon Rust!  After my first experience in one of his classes, my classmates and I all knew just how serious he took presenting and that was instantly ingrained in us.  So much so, that one day we had a terrible ice storm, everyone lost power and the University actually closed but more than 50% of classmates (including myself) showed up because it was presentation day in Dr. Rust’s class.  His “critiques” of our presentations may have seemed harsh at the time, but what I have grown to appreciate was that he saw something in all of us and he was motivating us to get the best out of every one of us.  I cannot thank him enough for the time he spent and opportunities he gave me along the way.

Be adaptive in your career. Never did I dream when I started here that I would end up as a Hospital Administrator. I was very focused as an undergraduate; get the bachelor degree, get the masters, then become the youngest plant manager at Milliken. I was way off!  If it wasn’t for Dr. Godfrey’s influence I may not even be here today.  Whether he was trying or not he always impressed upon me that with the education I was receiving here, I could work anywhere and do anything.  The last semester of my senior year, he gave me an opportunity to work with one of the local hospitals that he was doing some consulting for at the time.  That project, that job, changed my life both professionally and personally and set me on a direction I never dreamed was possible and for that I will always be grateful.

Find your Balance. When I took my first job as a Director at Duke, my boss there impressed upon me things that I continue to live my life by, this advice is something I share with all students and administrative fellows that come shadow me. Duke is only paying you for 40 hours of work a week, everything else is time you are donating to Duke!  I say this because as you start out in your career you have a thirst to prove yourself on day one.  He would always tell me to continue to learn and enjoy the ride, don’t be in a rush to finish your career in the first five years!  If you are burnt out, not happy then you are no good to your employer. Take time for you and your family but always get the job done!  He started and ended every conversation with me the same way and I continue to do this with my employees today.   “Tell me what you learned today.”  This encouraged me to always find something new in my job.  “Are you still having fun?” If I wasn’t then I was in the wrong job. And because he knew me so well, he would always end with “Stay out of trouble.”

I have told you about 3 people that have greatly influenced me and have been I think keys to my success in both my career and life. The last thing I will leave you with is something personally from me.  When I was graduating just 10 years ago, I had a song stuck in my head that I think accurately describes this moment.  It actually was one of the first songs I learned how to play on the guitar, something I still enjoy doing to this day.  The song is by Green Day and from 1997, so maybe that makes it a classic at this point?


Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end that’s right,
I hope you had the time of your life.


Jan 15 2014

Barry Leonard ’75 Survivor of Flight 1549 checks off his bucket list

Barry Leonard, CEO/President of Welspun USA, Inc and 1975 College of Textiles graduate.

Barry Leonard, CEO/President of Welspun USA, Inc and a 1975 College of Textiles graduate.

Reposted from the Charlotte Observer

Your outlook on life changes after you’ve ridden a powerless jetliner toward the icy Hudson River and hear a voice over the intercom: “This is the captain. Brace for impact.”

You change your priorities. You lose interest in life’s little dramas. You measure your age in Flight 1549 years.

You make a bucket list.

Passengers from the Charlotte area who were on the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight are marking their fifth anniversary of the splashdown Wednesday. Ask them about their personal bucket lists from the last five years, and they’ll tell you how they’ve ditched careers, faced challenges with a new outlook, taken to the heavens in a pilot’s seat.

More than anyone, they understand the length of a lifetime, or two.

Perhaps none have gone so far as Barry Leonard, who on Aug. 22, 2013, checked off this one: climbing to the 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Leonard, CEO of the textile company Welspun USA, made the trek with his 23-year-old son, Matthew. They stood in the thin, cold air atop the African continent for about 45 minutes.

“It’s desolate,” says Leonard, 60. “It looks like what I would think the moon looks like. There’s the inside of a volcano on one side and glaciers on the other. You’re minuscule compared with them.”

Leonard says Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s cryptic warning continues to resonate in his life.

“To ‘brace for impact’ has become the appropriate phrase for every day of my life. If you’re going to have goals, you have to have bold goals. … A lot of people talk about bucket lists, and I do it.”

He’s not done yet. On this year’s list is meeting the Dalai Lama. He’s got a friend with contacts working on it.

Read the remainder of the article here:

Dec 19 2013

College Celebrates Fall Graduates

On Wednesday, December 18 the College of Textiles awarded 16 doctor of philosophy degrees, 27 masters, and 78 undergraduate degrees. The W. Duke Kimbrell Atrium was packed with parents and friends to see their student walk across the stage.

Cassia Lewis and family

Senior speaker Cassia Lewis with her parents at the graduation reception. Her father Gray Lewis is a 1994 graduate of the College of Textiles.

The senior speaker was Cassia Lewis and her family has an interesting history with the College of Textiles.  Her mother and father met at the Summer Textiles Exploration Program in the summer of 1989 before they embarked on their senior year in high school.  Gray Lewis, her father, was accepted into the College of Textiles while her mom enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill. Gray graduated in December of 1994 when  Cassia was two years old. It was very special to Gray to watch Cassia graduate in the same spot he did and for her to give the senior speech only demonstrated the person she is.  He says, “she has always been a very self-motivated.  We are so proud of her and what she has accomplished at NC State.”  Cassia now will move to Greensboro, NC and begin her career at ITG and enjoy her upcoming marriage in March.

Congratulations to the Fall 2013 ClassThe College of Textiles is extremely proud of our graduates and wish them all the best of luck as they begin their next journey.


Dec 16 2013

Peace Corps Experience Gives Graduate Insight to Share

Nicholas DippelNicholas Dippel arrived back at the College of Textiles in July with more knowledge about a world he knew nothing about before he graduated in 2011. In May 2011, he walked across the stage on the courtyard at the College of Textiles accepting his degree in Polymer and Color Chemistry and then stepped on a plane to Africa.  The experiences and things he has seen and grown to understand are more than most people experience in a lifetime. Those experiences have brought him back to NC State to help the next group of prospective students reach their full potential.

Nicholas is one of four children in his family and grew up in Greensboro, NC attending Northwest Guilford High School. Nicholas started in First Year College at NC State and knew he enjoyed basic chemistry and after a college career day narrowed it down to textiles. So you are wondering how did he land in Africa after graduation with a polymer and color chemistry degree?

Service and leadership have been engrained in Nick throughout his life, but at NC State he found himself involved in community service through Alpha Phi Omega and Leadership in Action, which is a four year leadership development program for students where they are exposed to various classes, workshops and philanthropic activities. He was also a University Ambassador.  These types of experiences made him realize that he wanted to see where the Peace Corps could use him.

His senior year he applied early and by Thanksgiving had an interview on campus followed by an acceptance. In April 2011, he received his official letter that he would spend the next two years in South Africa. After turning his tassel, he left for a two day training in Washington, DC with 60 other people that would also be sent to South Africa.

Nicholas landed in South Africa and didn’t really know what to expect and was excited and nervous all at the same time. His host family was just so wonderful he said, “They brought me in and treated me like I was a part of the family. I was very fortunate to have such a great relationship with them. It really made all the difference in my experience.”

After three months of language, cultural and political training, Nick was ready for his first job in Tsimanyane Village as a math teacher for the high school (grades 9-12) and an English teacher for the primary school (grades kindergarten-8).  When asked what his most rewarding teaching experience was, Nick said, “12th grade math, but it was so hard. I received so many thank you notes and it really showed me how much the students appreciated how I was helping them and teaching them something new. Seeing the first kids in their families go to college was so rewarding for me personally.”

Teaching English to the students was another rewarding experience that he didn’t expect to have. He didn’t know he would be teaching English until he got there.  Also his 8th grade math class started out with 75 kids in a trailer for a whole year. To say that was overwhelming is probably an understatement, but all of this helped to mold Nick and gave him insights that he never would have had without them.

Besides teaching, Nick was able to do a lot of community development such as events with the two preschools in the village. He offered after school computer classes and taught English and math and gave away 300 teddy bears to newborns at the local hospital through an organization called Mother Bear.

He started a library with a grant through the electric company. Through persistent calls and letters he was able to get the company to come out to the school and explain everything to them. He got grants for used books in the United States and by the time he left 2,000 plus books occupied the library.  Someone is now carrying on taking care of the library since he left in July.  In addition, at the school he had 25 computers donated where he taught computer classes after school.  He also started youth organizations to help with HIV and AIDS awareness.

Nicholas says, “The hardest thing I did was leave. The family I stayed with called me their son and immersed me in the culture right away. I will always keep in touch with my host family and friends I made there. The connections I made and the relationships I built with the students was gratifying and to have this experience at this time in my life will only serve me well in my future career.”

The College of Textiles is fortunate that Nicholas wanted to come back to Raleigh and pursue a career at the College. His love of NC State and his goal of being a part of higher education will only help in our recruiting efforts.  Nicholas now embraces another two year job as one of our high school recruiters.  He will visit approximately 110 high schools this year, reaching 6500 prospective students and teach them about the new world of textiles and all the job opportunities once they graduate, but he will also inform them of everything that NC State can give them like service opportunities.  And he can speak from real world experience working at Service Raleigh on a fall afternoon to working with children in South Africa.

Dec 16 2013

Students Receive Valuable Resource for Fashion Designs

The NC State College of Textiles is pleased to announce that American & Efird (A&E) have generously donated a custom made cabinet that holds 1,024 spools of spun polyester thread, each containing 500 yards of thread, along with four cases of thread cones, each containing 6,000 yards. This cabinet will be housed in the HanesBrands Fashion Studio and will be used as a student resource allowing them a wide assortment of thread colors to match the fabric color used in their fashion designs.  Each spool in the thread cabinet represents a color contained in A&E’s global color palette. Located in Mount Holly, NC, A&E is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of sewing threads and industrial yarns.


The donation was made possible through student intern Stephen Peskowitz.  Stephen was an A&E manufacturing management intern in wet processing at the A & E plant located in Mount  Holly, NC this past summer.  During his internship Stephen completed a global color comparison by analyzing the colors dyed throughout all of the A & E global dye houses to ensure color uniformity.  He also worked with other process and quality improvements to make sure that A&E’s products were competitive with others in the market.  Stephen connected Matt Nichols, wet processing manager at the Mount Holly plant with Debra McLendon, Lecturer.  Nichols is a ’95 Textile Material Science graduate of the College of Textiles.

Pictured (left to right) are: Tanga Crosby, Sample Department Manager & Colorist; Mark Hatton, Director of Marketing & Sales Administration; and Matt Nichols, Wet Processing Manager.  Both Crosby and Nichols are College of Textiles graduates.

Pictured (left to right) are: Tanga Crosby, Sample Department Manager & Colorist; Mark Hatton, Director of Marketing & Sales Administration; and Matt Nichols, Wet Processing Manager. Both Crosby and Nichols are College of Textiles graduates.


Oct 04 2013

NC State University & SKEMA Global Luxury Management Students to Learn from Luxury Sector Leaders in New York City Study Tour

NC State Poole College of Management
Media Contact: Anna Rzewnicki, Poole College Director of Communications: 919.513.4478 | |


RALEIGH, N.C. – October 3, 2013 – Students in the North Carolina State University Poole College – SKEMA Business School Global Luxury Management (GLM) program ( are getting a one-of-a-kind learning experience during a New York City study tour October 8-10, 2013.

Experiential learning is a key component of the one-year dual-degree graduate management program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders for the burgeoning global luxury goods and services market.

In addition to the New York City study tour, students will complete a Carolinas experiential tour, coursework at NC State’s Poole College of Management and College of Textiles, coursework at SKEMA’s Sophia Antipolis campus and study tours in France, and a summer internship.

During the New York City tour, the 46 GLM students from nine countries will immerse themselves in the luxury consumer’s world for three days. The program’s study tours provide students a unique opportunity to learn the business and experience the world of luxury in ways they are unable to do in the classroom alone.

“The GLM program’s strategic management focus integrates academic and experiential learning organized around innovation, leadership and globalization,” said Nancy Cassill, director of the Global Luxury Management program and professor in NC State’s College of Textiles.

“The students will come away from this study tour with a depth of understanding of the luxury industry and consumer made possible by the unmatched exposure and networking opportunities they will have with luxury industry executives. That will give them an insider’s perspective and competitive edge as they prepare to enter the job market,” Cassill said.

The GLM program is offered jointly by the NC State Poole College of Management and SKEMA Business School. Students complete their fall semester at NC State University in Raleigh, N.C., with coursework at both the Poole College of Management and the College of Textiles, and the spring semester at SKEMA Business School’s Sophia Antipolis campus in France, followed by an internship.

Highlights of the study tour include:

  • Networking reception with the GLM Industry Advisory Board at the Ralph Lauren Corporate Office, hosted by Jerome Espinos, president, footwear and accessories, Ralph Lauren
  • Presentation and discussion with Steven DeLuca, senior vice president and publisher, American Express Publishing
  • Industry panel discussion hosted by Alberto Milani, chief executive officer of Buccellati-Americas
  • Retail and corporate tours with brands like Bergdorf Goodman, Hearst Corporation, Tiffany & Company
  • Tour of the Morgan Library & Museum
  • Company visit to Kerwin Communications, premier marketing agency partner to luxury brands, featuring an industry presentation from Jim Kerwin, president and chief executive officer

Optional activities include visiting the Four Seasons Hotel and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) museum, and shopping on Madison Avenue.

The tour is made possible by the program’s strong industry ties through its 18-member GLM Industry Advisory Board ( In conjunction with the tour, the board will host its annual fall meeting on October 8 at the Ralph Lauren Corporate Office. Board members include executives from luxury organizations such as Buccallati-Americas, Carlyle & Co., Christofle Silver, Inc., Peter Millar, Ralph Lauren, The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Vacheron Constantin and VIETRI.

“The GLM Industry Advisory Board is pleased to help develop future leaders in the luxury industry by supporting the NYC study tour. Getting in front of industry decision makers can make all the difference in launching a career in the luxury industry,” said Ellen L. Rohde, former executive with VF Corporation and chairman, GLM Industry Advisory Board.

About the Global Luxury Management Program

Global Luxury Management (GLM) is a unique academic program offered as an option in the Master of Global Innovation Management (MGIM) program in the Jenkins Graduate School at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. The GLM option was developed and is offered as a partnership between NC State’s Poole College of Management and College of Textiles in Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A., and SKEMA Business School’s Sophia Antipolis campus in France. These academic institutions have created a rigorous one-year dual degree graduate program that provides students with a solid foundation in global luxury management coursework combined with experiential activities to prepare future leaders for the dynamic global luxury marketplace. Students earn two masters degrees, one from NC State and one from SKEMA, while studying on two continents during the one-year program.

About NC State University Poole College of Management and Jenkins Graduate School

The NC State University Poole College of Management focuses on management education for a technology driven global marketplace. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, business administration and economics, as well as custom and open enrollment executive education programs delivered by the college’s Executive Programs, LLP.  Poole College’s accounting and business programs are accredited by AACSB International.

About NC State University College of Textiles

The College of Textiles has 114 years of teaching, research, and extension. Undergraduate degrees can be obtained in textile engineering, polymer and color chemistry, fashion and textile management, fashion and textile design and textile technology. Graduate degrees such as master of science and master of textiles and two doctorate degrees in fiber and polymer science and textile technology management are available, as well as a graduate certificate in nonwovens. The College of Textiles has proven to be the leading textile college in the world covering all aspects of textiles from molecule to market.

About SKEMA Business School

SKEMA Business School is one of France’s largest Grandes Ecoles with 6,600 students and its 30,000 alumni. The school offers a wide range of degree programs, including bachelors, Grande Ecole (Masters in Management), Masters of Science, specialized masters and Ph.D. The school currently has sites in France (Lille, Sophia Antipolis, Paris), China (Suzhou) and the United States (North Carolina).


Sep 05 2013

Welcome Back

Dean A. Blanton GodfreyTo all students returning to the College of Textiles this fall, welcome back.  To all new students, welcome to the world’s best textiles college.  You are all part of a record class this year.  We have 177 new freshmen (plus fifteen more in Textile Engineering), 23 external transfers and 114 internal transfers into the college for a total of 984 undergraduate students.  Our transfer students come from almost every college at NC State, community colleges and four UNC universities: Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Wilmington and Charlotte.  With 88 masters students and 98 Ph.D. students we now have a record 1174 students.


This is an exciting time to be on campus.  The Hunt Library opened officially this past April and is already winning international design awards and being featured in top architectural publications.  It is truly special, and it is our library.  The Entrepreneurial Village also opened this August with the first dormitory rooms on Centennial Campus.  Four hundred students living on campus are bringing the campus to life at night.  Four new eating areas in the Village are most welcome as is the ice cream and coffee shop in the library.  When completed next year, the Entrepreneurial Village will have rooms for 1195 students.


Recently Popular Science named the Textile Protection and Comfort Center one of the “ten most awesome labs” in the country and it will be become even greater with a new fire chamber installed.  New capabilities of this chamber include developing and testing protective wear for wildfire fighters.  The Nonwovens Institute continues to grow with new international partners and an expanding research program.  Our filtration research is attracting new partners and opportunities for major impact.


Our partnership with Donghua University is providing Donghua students new opportunities in our college and opportunities for our students to study in Shanghai.  The partnership with our French university on Centennial Campus, SKEMA, now has over 50 students from the Poole College of Management, Textiles, and SKEMA from nine countries in the Global Luxury Management masters degree program with study here this fall and in France in the spring.  Next spring our third-year Fashion and Textile Design degree students will study in Hong Kong, Prague, London, Italy and France.


There are many opportunities for you in the College of Textiles including an undergraduate research experience, study abroad, leadership, entrepreneurship, and outstanding internships with leading companies.  We are proud of being a small college in a great university where students can take advantage of exceptional opportunities while developing close relationships with each other and with faculty who truly care about each and every student.  We are committed to providing the best education possible and making the college better every year.


Dean Godfrey


Aug 28 2013

Summer Program, Led by Dr. Jesse Jur, Focuses on Wearable Electronics

When someone mentions the term “wearable electronics,” many of us, even in today’s technologically advanced society, may not really understand what it means. What are wearable electronics? And moreover, why do they matter to us? Dr. Jesse Jur, an Assistant Professor in Textile Engineering and Textile Technology, does extensive work and research in the field of wearable electronics and nanotechnology. The type of technology Dr. Jur focuses on is creating wearable platforms (like patch wristbands, or even shirts) that are able to harvest energy from the human body using small wearable devices. With that energy, the electronic device is then able to track certain aspects of interior or exterior health, such as a person’s electrocardiogram (ECG) signal  or a person’s walking style. Dr. Jur sees nanotechnology and wearable electronics as an integral part of the future of health care.  As these devices become more advanced and more accessible to a wider range of consumers, it will be possible for people to track more aspects of their health for longer periods of time and enable the population to maintain healthier lifestyles without a dependence on battery powered sources. From a textiles standpoint, wearable electronics represent exciting advancements in apparel as well as accessories; from embedded sensors in shirts to bracelets equipped with nanotechnology.

Dr. Jur spent five weeks of summer leading a program centered on wearable electronics in conjunction with the College of Education and Dr. Gail Jones, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education professor of the College of Education. The attendees of this inaugural five-week program included a combination of local middle school and high school STEM teachers as well as local high school students from some of Wake County’s best and brightest STEM-focused schools.

Aug 28 2013

NC State students win marine design contest using fabrics made in Norlina

News and Observer

August 24, 2013

by Alex Stewart

The winners of the Glen Raven Marine Design Challenge were, left to right, N.C. State students Morgan Green and Lauren Michelakis, and far right Caroline Cox. Paige Mullis, Glen Raven concept development director, third from left, and Nancy Webster, N.C. State University practicum professor, directed the program.

The winners of the Glen Raven Marine Design Challenge were, left to right, N.C. State students Morgan Green and Lauren Michelakis, and far right Caroline Cox. Paige Mullis, Glen Raven concept development director, third from left, and Nancy Webster, N.C. State University practicum professor, directed the program.

N.C. State University students are making a splash in the world of design by tailoring fabric-based products for the boating industry.

Morgan Green, Lauren Michelakis and Caroline Cox, all studying fashion and textile management, won Glen Raven’s Marine Design Challenge to create products with female consumers in mind. The crew competed against 13 other teams from the College of Textiles.

“I think it was the sheer number of ideas that we had, and the fact that we really pushed the boundaries with our ideas,” Green said of the winning entries, which included a collapsible shelving system, a hanging seating arrangement, repositionable lounge blocks and an automatic extendable awning.

Their product ideas – all geared to efficiency and space conservation – earned the team the $1,500 grand prize in the contest.

Read the full story here:


Aug 28 2013

Popular Science names the 10 Most Awesome College Labs Of 2013

PyromanThe Textile Protection and Comfort Center at the College of Textiles has been named 1 of the 10 most awesome college labs of 2013. For those of you that have been in this lab you know how cool it is and for those who haven’t plan to come to our Open House on February 8.

See the story on the Popular Science website.

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