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College of Human Environmental Sciences

PhD Student Profiles

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Sarah Almalki

Sarah Almalki

E-mail: saazp4@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Saudi Arabia
Professional/Research Interests: Family life education and enrichment; intimate and romantic relationships; and multicultural feminism.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BA in Family and Consumer Science/Home Economic Education from King Abdulaziz University in 2007 and a MA in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I want to explore the unique challenges that arise from developing and implementing family life education programs specifically for populations that are culturally diverse. I am excited about my work with ShowMe Healthy Relationships as it relates to my own area of study and aims to promote healthy family function and provide strength to the family unit through an educational approach."


Steven Berkley

Steven Berkley

E-mail: sbq4d@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Professional/Research Interests: African-American youth and emerging adults, college and family transitions, workforce development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Steven received a BS in Economics in 1998 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies in 2012 from the University of Missouri. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am interested in African-American emerging adults and their transitions in college, career, and family. My career goals are to improve academic and employment outcomes for this population through macro level program design, implement, and evaluate."


Alaysia Brown

Alaysia Brown

E-mail: alaysiambrown@mail.mizzou.edu
Hometown: Fresno, California
Professional/Research Interests: Skin-tone, family dynamics, parenting, romantic relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Alaysia received a BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego in 2016. She is currently working toward a Doctorate in Human Development and Family Science.

"My goal in conducting research is to construct a narrative of the minority experience, particularly from the African-American perspective by examining variables related to identity development, family processes, and relationship formation and function. My research interests also include exploring colorism within the Black community and its influence on self-esteem, belongingness, and romantic relationships in adolescence and young adulthood."


Ashton Chapman

Ashton Chapman

E-mail: alcmkb@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Joplin, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Divorce and remarriage, stepfamilies, intergenerational relationships, family identity/kinship, relational obligation.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Ashton received a BA in Psychology from Missouri Southern State University in 2010. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since arriving at Mizzou, I have collaborated with Drs. Ganong and Coleman to conduct qualitative research on divorced and remarried families. Together we have explored boundary setting and maintenance, constructions of shared family identity and kinship, and feelings of obligation in relationships. The changing landscape of today's families, coupled with improvements in the longevity of our global population, has resulted in increased numbers of diverse, multigenerational families. My research agenda is focused on understanding how intergenerational relationships are forged and maintained outside of nuclear family ties; moreover, I am interested in how perceptions of family identity shape feelings of obligation, particularly towards the oldest generation."


Luis Conejo-Bolanos

Luis Conejo-Bolanos

E-mail: luisconejo-bolanos@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Heredia, Costa Rica
Professional/Research Interests: Temperament, emotional regulation, executive functions, prosocial behavior and aggression in children.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Luis received a BS in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica in 2010 and a MS in Psychological Research from the University of Costa Rica in 2013. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am very interested in executive functions, emotional development and aggression in children. Once I finish my doctoral studies, my plan is to continue working on these topics to develop a research program aimed at understanding these phenomena based on an empirically-valid and culturally-sensitive perspective. I plan to research not only the negative dimensions of emotionality such as aggression and behavioral problems, but also the socioemotional competence observed in prosocial behaviors, among others."


Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis

E-mail: trdww4@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Professional/Research Interests: Family of origin experiences, emerging adult romantic relationships, divorce, remarriage, and stepfamilies.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Taylor received a BS in Family and Child Sciences and Psychology from Florida State University in 2015. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests include the influence of family of origin experiences on emerging adult romantic relationships, particularly within the context of complex families (i.e., stepfamilies). One goal of my research is to better understand how early exposure to various family transitions serves to shape emerging adults’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in ways that ultimately impact the quality of their own relationships. Through my work with Dr. Garneau-Rosner and ShowMe Healthy Relationships, a federally-funded initiative designed to promote strong families in the state of Missouri, I have had the opportunity to begin exploring how my research interests can be applied in community settings."


Ashley Ermer

Ashley Ermer

E-mail: aeeqn8@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: York, Nebraska
Professional/Research Interests: Social relationships, health, and aging; caregiving in late adulthood; forgiveness.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Ashley earned a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies in 2012 and an MS in Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2014. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My primary research interests pertain to older adults' social relationships and their health. Currently, I am working on a project with Dr. Christine Proulx which explores marital history and the receipt of care over time in late adulthood and am also working on a project with Dr. Jacquelyn Benson that pertains to older adult living apart together (LAT) relationships. I am also involved on a project regarding women who provide end of life care for an ex-spouse with Dr. Proulx and Dr. Theresa Cooney at the University of Colorado Denver."


Nick Frye

Nick Frye

E-mail: nef6fd@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Professional/Research Interests: Emotion processes (emotional competence and emotional regulation) and their affects on relationship outcomes and individual wellbeing.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Nick received a BS in Psychology from Indiana State University in 2005 and a MS in Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University in 2007. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since coming to Mizzou my research has focused on the effects of emotional processes on marital quality and personal wellbeing. In collaboration with Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman, I have also conducted research on stepfamily relationships. Currently, I am working on my dissertation which will examine whether individuals’ emotional regulation abilities can protect themselves, and other family members, from the potential harmful effects of family conflict on personal wellbeing Upon graduation, I hope to work as a professor conducting research."


Zehra Gulseven

Zehra Gulseven

E-mail: zg5yc@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Turkey
Professional/Research Interests: Moral behavior and development, prosocial behavior and its correlates including parenting, child rearing practices, emotion regulation, parenting daily hassles, and cultural differences.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Zehra received a BS in Psychology from Abant Izzet Baysal University in 2009. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interest focuses on prosocial behavior, moral development and moral identity, as well as the socialization of prosocial behavior with parenting and cultural correlates. I am currently involved in several projects with my faculty adviser Dr. Carlo in which we are exploring the influence of environmental toxicants on children’s cognitive, physical, and socioemotional development, using findings from the ETHOS project; we are also examining college students moral identity and sexual health. I’m also involved in a collaborative project with Dr. Rudy in which we are exploring cross culturally college students' relationships with their parents and their sense of well-being. We are collecting data from the USA, India and Turkey."


Seung-Hee Han

Seung-Hee Han

E-mail: shpbb@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Speech, communication in early childhood, language development, mathematical thinking, culture and development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Seung-Hee received a BA in Early Childhood Education from Chung-Ang University in 2001 and a MA in Early Childhood Education in 2004. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are focused on the relations of children’s speech, cognition, and social-emotional development. I also have interests in cultural influences on children’s development in various contexts. I hope all experiences in HDFS would enhance my future career goal to become a researcher."


Youngsook Han

Youngsook Han

E-mail: yhm88@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Family process, culture, and young children’s social development; Parent-child and peer interaction; Early intervention and prevention for at-risk children and their families.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Youngsook received her BA in Child Psychology and Education from Sungyunkwan University in 2008 and a MA in Child and Family Studies from Yonsei University in 2010. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research has focused on young children’s social development, especially peer relationships and prosocial behavior. I would like to examine how family process and cultural factors affect children's development. I also look forward to designing and evaluating early intervention and prevention programs for high risk children and their families. After completing the PhD program at the University of Missouri, I would like to be a scholar where I can continue my research and teaching."


Jihee Im

Jihee Im

E-mail: jibm5@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Parent-child relationships, parenting, social-emotional development in early childhood, and public policies related to children and families.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Jihee received her BA in Psychology from Sungkyunkwan University in 2008 and a MA in Human Resource Development from Sungyunkwan University in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are parent-child relationships and effects of diverse parenting styles on socio-emotional development in early childhood. Also, I am interested in public polices related to children and public policy assessment."


Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones

E-mail: skjx9b@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
Professional/Research Interests: Sibling relationships in adolescence and young adulthood, family dynamics, family communication, and cultural values.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Samantha received a BS in Human Services from East Tennessee State University in 2013 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies from Kent State University in 2015. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am interested in sibling relationship dynamics during adolescence and young adulthood. Specifically, I am interested in investigating cultural factors and daily experiences that impact sibling relationship quality and adjustment. I am currently involved in several research projects with Dr. Killoren that focus on sibling relationships, as well as sibling dyad and family communication during adolescence. I hope to teach and conduct research in a university setting contributing to the field of HDFS and sibling relationships."


Youngjin Kang

Youngjin Kang

E-mail: yk9p4@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Family systems, parent-child relationships, poverty and its effects on family systems.

Youngjin is working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since beginning my doctoral degree at MU, my research interest has focused on coparenting relationships and father involvement among unwed parents, particularly in the context of poverty. Currently, I am a part of the Storks research team (formerly, Groundhogs) led by Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman. I have been involved in several qualitative research projects about stepfamily and postdivorce family relationships and I hope my experiences will lead me to deepen and broaden my knowledge about coparenting relationships and father involvement in fragile families who tend to experience multiple transitions in their relationships."


Jeremy Kanter

Jeremy Kanter

E-mail: jeremykanter@missouri.edu
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Professional/Research Interests: Marital relationships throughout the life course, and relationship education.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Jeremy received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2014. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My primary research interests focus on how marital relationships change over time, and the constructs that influence these changes. Furthermore, I am interested in interventions to promote marital quality. Currently, I am working on a project with Dr. Christine Proulx examining variation in how marital quality develops over time. I am also working with Dr. Chelsea Garneau-Rosner on a 5-year project exploring the effects of educational interventions for low-income couples."


Gabrielle Kline

Gabrielle Kline

E-mail: gck539@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Saint Joseph, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Gender; family relationships; and family structure
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Gaby received a MS in Human Development and Family Studies in 2015. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am currently involved in research projects with Dr. Sarah Killoren my faculty mentor. I am very interested in sibling relationships during emerging adulthood. Recently, I have become more interested in sibling relationships among Mexican American emerging adults and how cultural values influence their sibling relationships."


Kwang Man Ko

Kwang Man Ko

E-mail: kkvk9@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Fathering, fatherhood, coparenting, and parent-child relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Kwang Man received a BS and MS in Urban Planning from Hanyang University in 1999/2000. He received a BA in Counseling Psychology from Seoul Digital University in 2007 and a BA in e-Lifelong Education from Gukje Cyber University in 2010. He also received a MA in Child and Family Studies from Yonsei University in 2012. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"As a father of three children, my research interest has focused on fathering and fatherhood. Here, at Mizzou, I am expecting my study into diverse contexts such as stepfamily and divorced family. Also, I would be part of the Stork research team led by Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman and join the a few research like fathers’'perception about coparenting."


James Larsen

James Larsen

E-mail: jln49@mail.missouri.eduu
Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Early childhood cognition, problem solving behaviors, creativity, forecasting, and children's play.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

James received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2014. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences emphasizing in Human Development and Family Studies.

"I am interested in the interrelation of early childhood cognitive and social development as it relates to ambiguous loss. More specifically, I plan to investigate the impact of parental incarceration on the previously mentioned domains. My goal is to establish a career in academia while working closely with children and their families as they navigate the criminal justice system."


Carrie Lehman

Carrie Lehman

E-mail: cblz7b@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Jefferson City, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Stepfamilies, older adults, and intimate relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Carrie received a BS in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Missouri- Columbia in 2016. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests include various forms and sectors of the family life. I am currently involved in research with Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman surveying kin support in LGTBQ individuals and projects that involved stepfamilies, as well as researching different aspects of the lives of older adults with Dr. Benson. In addition, I am currently working with Dr. Garneau-Rosner and her team on facilitating a program called Show Me Healthy Relationships."


Sahitya Maiya

Sahitya Maiya

E-mail: sahitya.maiya@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: India
Professional/Research Interests: Cultural influences on prosocial behavior, moral development, well-being.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sahitya received a BA in Communication and Media, English, Psychology from Christ University, India in 2014 and a MA in Applied Psychology - Counselling Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am particularly interested in prosocial behavior and moral development in adolescents with respect to parenting and cultural correlates. At Mizzou, I look forward to working with my faculty adviser, Dr. Carlo on research involving prosocial behavior across cultural contexts."


Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell

E-mail: snmvf2@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Family structure, processes, and gender issues of LGBT families (e.g. those with same-sex parents, LGBT youth, or any family member identifying as LGBT), particularly how these constructs relate the "coming out" process.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BA in Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2008 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I would like to use my research of family structure and processes to identify resources that are needed by these underrepresented family types. Additionally, I would like to facilitate communication among LGBT family members. That could be accomplished by designing research based programming and/or participating in the facilitation of said programming. I also enjoy teaching and would like to design courses that focus on LGBT individuals and their families."


Lindsey Murphy

Lindsey Murphy

E-mail: murphylm@health.missouri.edu
Hometown: St. Charles, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Child life, trauma in early childhood
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Lindsey received a BS in Child and Family Development from Missouri State University in 2008 and a MEd in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My hope is to use my PhD to further ground the field of Child Life. In addition, my goal is to expand evidence and contribute to an increase in trauma informed services for children who have undergone various types of trauma between the ages of zero and three."


Sarah Pierotti

Sarah Pierotti

E-mail: slpfk2@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania
Professional/Research Interests: Prosocial behavior, parenting, cross-cultural research, Latino cultural values.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and a MS in Early Childhood Development from the University of Missouri in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests focus on the multidimensionality of prosocial behavior and correlates of prosocial behavior, such as parenting and cultural variables. I am especially interested in Latino cultural values and how values and prosocial behavior are socialized in the parent-child relationship. I am currently involved with several research projects with my advisor, Dr. Carlo, and also Dr. Killoren that are related to these areas. I have also really valued and enjoyed my opportunities to teach HDFS courses here at the university."


Luke Russell

Luke Russell

E-mail: ltrbqb@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: South Windsor, Connecticut
Professional/Research Interests: Post-divorce relationships, re-marriage and step-families.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Luke received a BA in Human Development and Family Studies and Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2010 and a MS in Family Science from the University of Missouri in 2014. He is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I study health and resilience dynamics in post-divorce families. Much of my current work with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong has explored how adults support the healthy development of children who have residence in two households through coparenting or co-navigating health systems (e.g. hospitals, medical appointments). I have also worked on projects that have explored how children and adults navigate their relationships within divorced and remarried families, specifically how ties are developed, maintained, or dissolved among stepchildren, stepparents, and stepgrandparents."


Caroline Sanner

Caroline Sanner

E-mail: cms4qc@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Remarriage and stepfamilies dynamics, gender issues, qualitative research methods.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Caroline received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2013 and a MS in Family Science from the University of Missouri in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I work with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong to qualitatively explore post-divorce relationships and stepfamily dynamics. Given the increased diversity of families today, my research agenda is focused on understanding the processes through which stepfamily members make meaning of their roles, develop familial ties, and negotiate relationships in complex kinship networks. Furthermore, I am interested on the influence of gendered expectations on role construction and enactment, particularly for women in stepfamilies."


Christina Squires

Christina Squires

E-mail: cmskx3@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Fresno, California
Professional/Research Interests: Attachment formation, self-regulation and cognitive development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Christina received a BS in Child Development from California State University in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since beginning my graduate program at Mizzou, my research has focused on children's cognitive development. I have collaborated with Drs. Manfra, Ispa, and Palermo to conduct quantitative research exploring the development, acquisition, and use of self-regulation and school readiness skills during the early childhood years. Much of my research is devoted to understanding developmental processes among low-income and at-risk children, and I am particularly interested in the role of socioeconomic contexts on children's self-regulation, as well as the influence of homeless on children's development."


Cara Streit

Cara Streit

E-mail: csck9@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
Professional/Research Interests: Social and emotional development in children, early moral development, discipline, parent-child relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Cara received a BA in Psychology from Western Washington University in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am currently involved in several research projects with Dr. Carlo, my faculty mentor, and other colleagues. Examples of these projects include the NSF LYCP project (adjustment of Latino families in the Midwest); the PALS project (cognitive and moral development in preschool children); and data collection with college students examining moral identity and sexual health. Additionally, I am working on projects with Dr. Killoren that examine sibling communication and Latino/a adolescent adjustment. Finally, along with Dr. Carlo, Dr. Killoren, and several other researchers from the university, I am involved in a project that examines the roles of parent, peer and sibling relationships, moral identity, and new media on Latino/a adolescent sexual health."


Nate Stoddard

Nate Stoddard

E-mail: nate.stoddard@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Highland, Utah
Professional/Research Interests: Relationship formation (marriage, remarriage, cohabitation), relationship maintenance (commitment, healthy relationship attitudes), and relationship dissolution (divorce, separation).
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Nate received a BS in Family Science in 2013 and a MS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development 2015, both from Brigham Young University. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Working with Drs. Garneau-Rosner and Ganong, I study family processes within diverse family forms. My research agenda focuses on understanding what it takes for relationships to be healthy across varying levels of family complexity and through various family transitions."


Kevin Stott

Kevin Stott

E-mail: kevinstott@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama
Professional/Research Interests: Gerontology, later-life interpersonal and family relationships, death and grief, and the "baby-boomer generation."
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Kevin received a BS in Family Science in 2013 and a MS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development in 2015 from Brigham Young University. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are primarily in the field of gerontology, and I currently work with Drs. Benson and Ganong. I am especially interested in later-life couples, their families, and the family processes that change as they chronologically age. Also, I enjoy studying the "baby boomers" as they enter retirement and later life. My professional goal is to become a professor in a Family Science or Gerontology department where I can both teach and conduct research."


Chang Su-Russell

Chang Su-Russell

E-mail: cszm3@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Liao Ning Province, China
Professional/Research Interests: Child development in early childhood, parent-child relationships and cultural diversity.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Chang received her BA in English Literature from Minzu University of China in 2009, completed one semester in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California in 2009 and received a MA, specializing in Child Development, in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since entering graduate school, my research interests are cross-cultural parenting and child development in early childhood. Currently, I am involved in a project led by Drs. Jean Ispa and Gus Carlo researching the longitudinal effects of maternal intrusiveness and autonomy support on children's outcomes in Early Head Start programs. I am also working with professors at Michigan State University: with Dr. Claire Vallotton on cross-cultural parenting in the context of symbolic gesture learning in early childhood, and with Dr. Holly Brophy-Herb on the children's perceptions of relationships with fathers and their developmental outcomes."


Danielle Turley

Danielle Turley

E-mail: dngdk4@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Early childhood environments, teacher-child interactions, and early development of eating behaviors and food attitudes.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Danielle received a Bachelor's in Social Work and a Bachelors in HDFS from Mizzou in 2007 and an MA in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Development and Family Science.

"I'm specifically interested in how the early education environment influences learning and the development of eating behaviors in young children. Of specific interest is how school gardens can be implemented to support the development of the whole child. The MU's Children Learning Garden at the Child Development Lab provides a perfect opportunity for investigating questions like this. If we involve our young children and their families in planting, caring, harvesting, and consuming food in the garden while integrating academic goals such as math and reading, what kind of impact can we have on the whole child? My hope is to be able to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding garden programs in early childhood programs and that our (anticipated positive) results at the CDL will be applicable and transferable to early childhood programs everywhere."

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