2013 Iowa STATEment Makers - Iowa State University Alumni Association

2013 Iowa STATEment Makers

Erin Bergquist 02
Nevada, Iowa

Erin (’02 dietetics) is a standout young faculty member in ISU’s department of food science and human nutrition whose teaching style and ability to relate practical experience has resonated with her students. A registered dietitian and certified nutrition support specialist, Erin led a group of interns to Ghana in May 2012 to assist with maternal and child health issues in the developing nation. Now, as the recipient of the 2013 Helen LeBaron Hilton grant, she is continuing to work to improve nutrition in Ghana through the creation of sustainable gardening programs. Her professional accomplishments, combined with her volunteer work with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and service to the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, earned her Iowa’s 2012 “Outstanding Young Dietitian of the Year’ award.

Erin on…

…her favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Sitting under the majestic trees just south of MacKay Hall”

…her favorite college memory: “Class in the Joan Bice Underwood Tea Room. No dietetics student ever forgets the day she was manager!”

…the movie she’s always quoting: “Airplane! And don’t call me Shirley!”

…what’s next for her: “My husband and I are expecting our first baby in June, so we are looking forward to raising a little Cyclone!"

Axton Betz ’12
Charleston, Ill.

When Axton (PhD ’12 human devel & family studies) was just a child, her Social Security Number was stolen by identity thieves who racked up debt that has changed her life forever. Knowing firsthand the challenges of identity theft victims, Axton pursued an academic and professional career dedicated to helping prevent the problem in the future. Currently an assistant professor of consumer studies at Eastern Illinois University, Axton’s dissertation and peer-reviewed articles on the topic have gained national attention, and she has also given numerous presentations to such groups as the American Council of Consumer Interests, the Financial Therapy Association, and the Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The 2012 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ New Achievers Award recipient, Axton is currently collaborating on a study of the experiences of individuals who have been identity theft victims and domestic violence victims and authoring a book on child identity theft.

Axton on…

…her favorite college memory: “Being interviewed by a reporter from MSNBC about my dissertation research”

…what would make the world a better place: “If all people had the desire and ability to be completely honest with others”

…the everyday item she can’t live without: “Burt’s Bees lip balm”

…her favorite words to live by: “Always stay true to your vision.”

John Bosley ’03
Des Moines, Iowa

The Des Moines-based clothing company, RAYGUN, has gained national attention for its irreverent T-shirt slogans, cutting-edge style, and quirky humor – and much of its success is due to creative designer John Bosley (’03 art & design), who has provided his talents in art, marketing, photography, and social media to help increase the company’s business exponentially since 2010. John not only conceptualizes T-shirt slogans, but also creates the art for many of the most popular designs. Outside of his work at RAYGUN, John is an avid painter and has written and illustrated his own comic books and children’s books, including “I Can’t Smell My Eyes” – about a boy learning about his senses.

John on…

…the movies he’s always quoting: “If I don’t quote ‘Office Space’ or ‘Dumb and Dumber’ at least once a day, then you know something’s wrong with me.”

…his guilty pleasure: “Gossip mags. My girlfriend subscribes to them, and I can’t help myself from reading them cover to cover.”

…his favorite quote: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." – Calvin Coolidge

…what’s next for him: “In the next few years I want to get a children’s book published, draw my own comics, score some big commissions, and take my work at RAYGUN to the limit.”

Lucas Carlstrom ’08
Rochester, Minn.

Luke (’08 animal science) has been described by a former professor as “a rock star, no question” in the field of molecular neuroscience. After switching his career path from animal medicine to human medicine at Iowa State, he is currently pursuing medical and PhD degrees at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and hopes someday to teach, practice medicine, and do research -- specifically in the area of regeneration of human function following brain or spinal cord injury. In addition to working 12- to 14-hour days, Luke volunteers at local free clinics, mentors Rochester area high school students, and participates in a variety of charity fundraisers.

Luke on…

…his favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Academically: Parks Library, for its superb combination of study and sleep spaces. Socially: The M-Shop for its great shows and cold brews.”

…his dream job: “Medical/scientific officer on a space mission to another world (preferably one that ends better for the crew than typically portrayed in movies like Alien or Prometheus).”

…the everyday items he can’t live without: “Peanut butter, caffeine, and my iPhone”

…his role model: “N. Matthew Ellinwood, an associate professor at ISU. Matthew took me into his research group the summer of my freshman year and has unequivocally made a substantial impact on my development both academically and personally. His support and inspiration ultimately steered me into the Medical Scientist Training Program I am in today.”

Kayse Carter ’10
Ames, Iowa

Young entrepreneur Kayse Carter (’10 apparel merchandise, design, and production) has always been a go-getter. She was intensely focused on her dream of owning a bridal salon when she graduated both high school and college early and traveled to Paris and New York to study fashion. She has studied with the best fashion designers, including Reem Acra and Eli Tahari in New York, and today she owns and operates Ames’ Pure Bridal with her sister, Rita Gartin. Since the store opened in January 2012 when Kayse was only 24 years old, it has earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has garnered a reputation as a first-class bridal boutique. It was named Iowa’s top bridal boutique for 2013 by The Knot Wedding Network.

Kayse on…

…her favorite ISU tradition: “VEISHEA”

…her dream job: “I have my dream job! I get to help people look their absolute best for one of the biggest days in their lives and work with my best friend/sister.”

…her guilty pleasure: “Shoes – although I don’t feel too guilty about it!”

…what’s next for her: “I probably have too many goals for the future, but I always say you can’t achieve it if you don’t plan for it. Realistically, I would love to launch a website for bridal and formal wear accessories and possibly make Pure Bridal into a franchise. Another dream of mine has always been to launch my own private collection of wedding gowns and have a TV show featuring Pure Bridal and brides in the Midwest.”

Jacob Cline ’04
Eldridge, Iowa

Jacob (’04 mechanical engr) postponed a professional career in engineering to provide the ultimate service to his country. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer and served two tours of duty – one in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. He was injured by a fractured bullet during a firefight in Baghdad and was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries. Today, he is an engineer with Deere & Co. in the Quad Cities. “I’ve always wanted to work as an engineer for either the department of defense or in agriculture,” Jacob says. “I lucked out when I landed a job at John Deere. Now I get to help make a difference for the farmer.”

Jacob on…

…his favorite college memory: “Climbing the goalpost after the Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes in Ames in 1999”

…his guilty pleasure: “I could eat cereal for every meal.”

…the movie he’s always quoting: “The Big Lebowski, which my roommates and I watched nearly every weekend my sophomore year”

…his favorite quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Natasha Croom ’11
Ames, Iowa

Natasha (PhD ’11 education) is an assistant professor of higher education at Iowa State who has devoted her career to advising and creating opportunities for students. A member of multiple professional organizations for student affairs administrators, she has a particular passion for improving the collegiate experience of women of color. At Iowa State, Natasha has created the Sister Circle—an organization for black women not only on campus, but throughout Ames, to discuss their experiences living and working in a primarily white community and to provide mentoring and support. For her efforts, she has been awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Award. She is now pursuing creation of a new organization aimed at encouraging women of color to become more involved on the ISU campus.

Natasha on…

…her favorite college memory: “Emerging from backstage during commencement in my doctoral regalia”

…her role model: “My mother, Annie L. Croom, U.S. Army Veteran”

…her favorite smartphone app: “Yelp or Kayak”

…what would make the world a better place: “If we could eliminate oppressions such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and heterosexism”

Brendan Dunphy ’07
Ames, Iowa

You might say that serving as a research associate in ISU’s Medical Entomology Laboratory is Brendan’s day job. Brendan (’07 zoology, entomology, and animal ecol) runs the university insectary and oversees a surveillance program of mosquitoes and ticks in Iowa, but he also wears another hat: accomplished actor and producer. The star of Iowa State’s “Choose Your Adventure” television commercials, Brendan is part of the Iowa Filmmakers, a company best known for its “Iowa Nice” videos, and the owner of the production company Mooncoin, which has led him to produce a complete series of plays by Martin McDonagh. Combining his passions and talents, Brendan also recently began hosting the Science Channel series “Insects and the City” – proving perhaps that “actor, producer, and entomologist” isn’t such a strange career combination after all.

Brendan on…

…his favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Catt Hall”

…what would make the world a better place: “If everyone realized that there is no universal definition of ‘better’”

…the everyday item he can’t live without: “My phone…but only because it’s my music player”

…his words to live by: “My father told me when I left home, ‘Keep your eye on the prize.’ Whether I’m listening to him purposefully or not, I think this is the fundamental motivation in my life.”

Andrea Fellows ’06
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Andrea (’06 marketing) credits Iowa State with helping her to learn about the importance of service to others. As an undergrad she was involved with a variety of campus organizations and volunteered with the Volunteer Center of Story County, United Way, and Youth and Shelter Services, earning the 2006 State of Iowa Volunteer Award. As soon as she graduated, she focused her service efforts on the Peace Corps, which sent her to the Republic of Moldova to help children and small businesses. Today, she works for the Peace Corps in New York City as a public affairs coordinator, helping to identify and recruit the next generation of volunteers. Meanwhile, she continues to volunteer extensively with a variety of organizations and serves, in honor of her father who died of lymphoma in 2010, as the public relations chair for the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Andrea on…

…her favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Jack Trice Stadium on football gameday”

…her favorite college memory: “Graduation at Hilton Coliseum. Both of my parents did not finish college, so my brother and I were the first generation in my family to get a degree. Although there were other times that were considerably more fun than sitting through an entire ISU graduation, the pride I saw in my parents’ eyes made that memory particularly sweet.”

…her role model: “Hillary Clinton. When I was 9 years old, I was absolutely obsessed with the Clintons and wanted to be the first woman president of the United States. I find Hillary’s experiences and achievements to be incredible, and I think she is a great example for any female.”

…what’s next for her: “Nursing school! I have to go back to school to get my degree in nursing, but luckily for me I can do an accelerated program. It’s definitely an exciting time for me to begin the transition into a brand new career path! My dream job is to be a nurse practitioner, specializing in oncology. No matter how hard each day was in the hospital with my father at the end, the nursing staff made each day as bearable as it possibly could be in a situation like that. I would love to be able to give that kind of care and compassion to a family going through a similar situation.”

Jamie Kay Ford ’05
St. Paul, Minn.

When Jamie (’05 history) learned about the Dawes Act of 1887 while attending Jill Wagner’s ISU course on current issues in Native America, she found a passion for Indian rights that has inspired her law career and current work as an advocate for Indian land reclamation. As a development officer for the Indian Land Tenure Foundation in Little Canada, Minn., Jamie has raised more than $2.5 million for Indian Country; proposed and organized the first-ever national conference for tribal land professionals; provides training to tribal land managers and individual landowners; and was even involved in the recent $3.9 billion Cobell Class Action Settlement, through which she organized tribal leaders to provide suggestions, many of which were adopted by the federal government, on a plan for implementation of a reservation land consolidation program. Jamie has published three articles on Native American issues in Hearsay, a publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section, and is a board director for the Cottonwood Foundation.

Jamie on…

…her favorite college memory: “Study abroad to Lyon, France through the Iowa Regents’ program”

…the everyday item she can’t live without: “Something to write with. You never know when the next big idea will come to you.”

…her guilty pleasure: “Watching reruns of The Golden Girls. As you may not remember, Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose dealt with a surprising number of controversial issues on the show – all with compassion and, added bonus, humor.”

…her favorite quote: “The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl

Luke Gran ’08
Nevada, Iowa

Luke (’08 forestry and international ag) has a bona fide passion for growing and promoting local, healthful food and supporting healthy ecosystems as the co-founder of TableTop Farm in Nevada and as the Next Generation Coordinator of the organization Practical Farmers of Iowa. His farm provides certified-organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce for more than 200 customers in central Iowa, with a mission of providing high quality food to local and regional markets while earning fair wages and embodying the principles of community involvement, innovation, and ecological resilience. The Next Generation program of Practical Farmers of Iowa provides outreach to more than 875 beginning farmers in the state. As coordinator, Luke organizes educational events like Farminars, conferences, workshops, and field days.

Luke on…

…his favorite ISU tradition: “Eating ‘fancy’ snacks after public lectures on campus”

…his dream job: “Director of Cowboy-Poet-Spaceman Operations”

…what would make the world a better place: “If everyone enjoyed three to five servings of fresh, Iowa grown vegetables every day of the year”

…his next project: “Work with my neighbors to buffer East Indian Creek with local ecotype diverse prairie, fence the cows out, and construct small wetlands to treat all tile water before it enters the stream”

Shelly Greving ’04 ’09
Ames, Iowa

Every day, Shelly (’04 graphic design, MBA ’09) works tirelessly to promote the mission of 4-H from the Missouri to the Mississippi. Her work as the marketing director for the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development has led her to receive such honors as the 2011 NAE4-HA Denise Miller Innovator Award, the 2011 NAE4-HA Regional and National Communication awards, the Ames Young Professional 4 Under 40 Award, and a Helen LeBaron Hilton grant. Shelly has participated in both Leadership Iowa and Leadership Ames and continues to be active in Ames Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals of Ames.

Shelly on…

…her favorite spot on the ISU campus: “The low-hanging branch on central campus”

…her role model: “Mother Teresa”

…her favorite smartphone app: “Zillow! I love seeing what houses are for sale and dreaming of my next house project.”

…her next big idea: “My long-term goal is to put Iowa on the map. I WILL make a difference for the businesses and communities of Iowa.”

Angie Kamps ’03 ’08
Ankeny, Iowa

Triplets Anna, Brenna, and Lucy Kamps were born in Sept. 1, 2010 at only 25 weeks gestation and weighing less than two pounds each. Their birth was awe-inspiring and terrifying for parents Brad and Angie (’03 genetics, PhD ’08 molecular, cellular, and dev biology), who spent months in the Mercy Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as their girls underwent surgeries and blood transfusions. Now that their daughters are home and thriving, Angie has made it her goal to support other families whose lives have been affected by premature birth through her volunteer work with the March of Dimes – an organization that works to help moms have full-term pregnancies. Despite her busy schedule caring for three daughters and working as a criminalist for the State of Iowa, Angie has been one of the organization’s strongest and most passionate volunteers. Since first getting involved in 2011, “Team Kamps” has raised more than $21,000 for the organization through annual charity walks and other fundraisers.

Angie on…

…her favorite college memory: “Everyday moments with my great friends of Freeman Hall. I have lots of great memories from that dorm!”

…what would make the world a better place: “If we stopped to think of others in our everyday life”

…her guilty pleasure: “People.com”

…her favorite quotes: “’Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’ and ‘Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.’ – Dr. Seuss”

Eric Kline ’04
Honolulu, Hawaii

Eric (’04 management info sys) is an Air Force officer and special agent with the Air Force of Special Investigations at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. As an agent, he conducts, manages, and oversees felony-level criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigations. He has served as the lead agent on a sexual assault case that led to a prison sentence, and he coordinated a joint operation with NCIS and the U.S. Marshals that led to the arrest of 24 individuals. He also located the remains of a retired Airman who had been missing for more than seven years, coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and supported the Secret Service on multiple presidential trips to Hawaii. From July 2011-February 2012, Eric deployed to a leadership position in Afghanistan, where he led a 40-person team that captured three insurgents who had killed a U.S. Navy civilian, produced 160 intelligence reports, created 35 imminent attack reports, and identified seven Taliban informants. For his efforts, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Military Outstanding Service Volunteer Medal.

Eric on…

…his favorite college memory: “Being a staff member for the ISU men’s basketball team in 2003-2004 (NIT Final Four)”

…his dream job: “United States Ambassador”

…his favorite smartphone app: The Chive

…his favorite quote: “’My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’ – John F. Kennedy”

Sarah Low ’02
Arlington, Va.

Despite being sidelined after a car-bike accident sustained while training for a triathlon in 2010, Sarah Low (’02 public service and admin in ag) is making an impact on rural development as an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She shares her research with policymakers at the Capitol and practitioners around the country to identify opportunities for economic development in rural areas. Her goal is always to create economic opportunities for rural citizens; her work has encompassed such areas as rural entrepreneurship and innovation, rural broadband accessibility, and rural manufacturing resilience. Following her injury, she even worked from her bed as an economist in the Farm and Rural Business Branch of the USDA’s Economic Research Service. And, 18 months after her accident, she finished a sprint triathlon.

Sarah on…

…her favorite spot on the ISU campus: “In old RCA, the archway between Lyon and Roberts Halls. I lived in Barton, and my mom lived in Lyon when she was at ISU, so the archway was a place on campus where I felt connected to home.”

…her dream job: “When I was at ISU, my dream job was being the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. I recently got to sit down with Secretary Vilsack, and I told him my dream. I got a smile and a laugh out of him! Now my dream is simply to continue being a public servant and utilizing my skills to improve the quality of life and economy in rural America.”

…her favorite smartphone app: “I’m partial to BBC’s World News app, partly because I can read the news offline when I’m on the metro.”

…her guilty pleasure: “My husband’s homebrew  -- we even grow our own hops.”

Sushain Pandit ’10
Austin, Texas

In 2012, Sushain (MS ’10 computer sci) was named one of IBM’s youngest-ever Master Inventors and received an outstanding technical achievement award for his work as a lead staff engineer working in IBM Austin, contributing to development, architecture, and customer engagement of reference data management product. Building on the research passions he developed while working in the Artificial Intelligence research lab at ISU as a grad student, Sushain brings an enthusiasm for creative thinking and applied research into his everyday work. Working with distinguished engineers and senior architects, he has filed approximately 20 U.S. patent applications around novel ideas and inventions. He has helped educate his co-workers on the art of inventing through presentations, talks, invention disclosure reviews, and mentoring opportunities, and has published half a dozen papers and articles.

Sushain on…

…his favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Atanasoff Artificial Intelligence Lab for work, Rec Center and Ada Hayden for play"

…his favorite college memory: “Remarkably cold weather, genuinely warm people”

…what would make the world a better place: “If dreams were acted upon more often”

…what’s next for him: “Near term, I’d like to keep learning how to research, design, and implement data-centric solutions that allow a wide variety of end-users to make better sense of various flavors of data. In process, I'd like to continue sharing the work with a broader community through publications, presentations, and talks.”

Scott Siepker 05
Des Moines, Iowa

Scott (’05 psychology) hosts the Emmy-nominated program Iowa Outdoors on Iowa Public Television and is an adjunct professor of acting at Drake University. Most recently, Scott became an Internet sensation when his film company’s (Iowa Filmmakers) video, “Iowa Nice,” in which he stars, received more than 1,033,000 views on YouTube and was a 2012 Webby Honoree. With follow-up Iowa Filmmakers productions like “Cyclone Nice” and “Hawkeye Nice,” Scott’s work gained the attention of ESPN, which featured him twice weekly on the program “College Football Daily” last fall. Like his Iowa Filmmakers co-founder and fellow honoree Brendan Dunphy, Scott is passionate about helping put the state of Iowa on the map and making it a hub for arts and entertainment.

Scott on...

...his favorite ISU tradition: "hating Nebraska"

...his favorite college memory: "There are a ton of these, but if I have to choose one it would be playing 11-on-11 tackle football with my Livingston House dorm mates on the old band practice field between Howe and Design. Third floor! Strong floor!"

...his role model: "Steve Martin"

...what's next for him: "Our next big project is a feature-length documentary on Jack Trice and Nile Kinnick"

Rachel Stork Stoltz 05
Chicago, Ill.

Working with a surgeon from a Chicago children’s hospital, Rachel (’05 biological-pre-medical illustration) created the company CEVL for Healthcare, Inc., which provides web-based educational platforms that enhance efficiency and safety in the operating room and are revolutionizing medical education. Rachel has had a hand in developing every aspect of CEVL, which stands for computer-enhanced visual learning, including all of its modules, its business plan, and even its website. She frequently attends surgeries and films them to create educational presentations for surgical residents and has co-authored articles for such publications as The Journal of Graduate Medical Education. CEVL currently has more than 1,500 users and has formed partnerships with such institutions as Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern University, Dartmouth University, Ohio State University, Brown University, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Duke University.

Rachel on…

…her favorite ISU tradition: “I am a little hippie at heart and have always had a crush on the zodiac symbols. So, the tradition off walking around the zodiac at the Union is definitely a favorite…and one I never dared break!”

…her favorite spot on the ISU campus: “Sitting on the steps of Curtiss with the perfect view of central campus”

…her favorite college memory: “Taking a summer class trip as a freshman to the Boundary Waters—hiking, sketching, and establishing lasting friendships!”

…her words to live by: “A quote I saw on a sign in Sayulita, Nayarit on my last trip, reminding me that it is important to have passion in everything we do: ‘Your duty is to discover your world and then commit fully with all your heart.’”

Tom Vance 09
Des Moines, Iowa

As the development coordinator for Central Iowa Shelter & Services, Tom (’09 journalism) has helped raise more than $7 million for the construction and operation of a new homeless opportunity center in Des Moines, advancing the organization’s mission to provide free shelter and meals to homeless adults regardless of physical or emotional conditions and to facilitate their moves toward self-sufficiency. Tom joined CISS in 2009 as an AmeriCorps member but joined the staff full-time in 2010. The new center opened on Sept. 21, 2012, expanding CISS’ service from 96 to 150 beds and significantly expanding the programming available to the area’s homeless population. Through his role with CISS and his extensive involvement in the community, Tom is committed to making central Iowa a better place to live, work, and play.

Tom on…

…his favorite ISU tradition: “VEISHEA”

…his role model: “Dr. Warren Blumenfeld”

…what would make the world a better place: "If there were more walkable communities”

…his best advice: “Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

Chris Williams ’07
Bondurant, Iowa

Chris (’07 journalism) has put his blood, sweat, and tears into running the website CycloneFanatic.com, which has become a top source of information and community for Cyclone athletics fans – like him. The content he creates every day adds value to the Iowa State fan experience; he has built a reputation as a news breaker, but at the same time continues to build great relationships with university coaches and administrators – a difficult act to balance. In 2012, Chris helped organize a bus trip to the Liberty Bowl that engaged hundreds of ISU supporters. In addition to his work with CycloneFanatic.com, Chris hosts regularly on the radio, including the Cyclone football “Cyclone Reaction” postgame call-in show—which he always handles with grace, even during the worst of times. Proving he is certainly a versatile sportswriter, Chris also works as an auto racing blogger for the Des Moines Register.

Chris on…

…his favorite ISU tradition: “The Iowa State football marching band. It MAKES the atmosphere at Jack Trice Stadium. If it is the Spirit Walk, pregame, halftime, or whatever, none of that would be what it is without the band.”

…his favorite spot on the ISU campus: “The Pete Taylor Media Room in Hilton Coliseum. There is nothing more inspirational and humbling than writing about Iowa State basketball with classic pictures of Pete hovering over me. Iowa State did a great job with its new media room by honoring a legend.”

…the movie he’s always quoting: “Dumb and Dumber”

…his guilty pleasure: “WWE Wrestling! I root for the bad guys. It is more fun that way. And yes, I know it is fake so don’t ask.”


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