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Meet the MIAGE Students

MIAGE students come from all over the country and the world to pursue international careers. Each story is unique: students aspire to own their own businesses, become experts in international finance, fight human trafficking, and develop counter-terrorism strategies. Their diverse backgrounds and infectious ambition make MIAGE a remarkable program. 

Chelsea Winslow

Chelsea Winslow ImageHometown: Ogden, UT
Languages: English, Spanish
Semester: 5th
Favorite Courses: Perspectives of Counterterrorism with Amos Guiora, National Security Policy with General Slack, Immigration Law with Steve Nelson, Criminal Justice Policy with Ed McConkie

Police officers are the humble heroes of our communities, risking their lives on a daily basis so we can stay safe. Chelsea Winslow truly is one of these heroes.

Chelsea has been a police officer for over four years serving in patrol, the High Risk Victims Unit, and as a Field Training Officer. Chelsea juggles a rigorous schedule including sometimes working throughout the night and then heading to class the next day. At times, Chelsea’s schedule is so tight that she comes to class straight from work still dressed in a full-fledged police uniform.

Chelsea Winslow ImageChelsea loves being a police officer because she has a direct impact on people’s lives. As the refugee population in Utah has increased, Chelsea has had the ability to create a positive view of law enforcement for them. Recently, Chelsea was called into a situation which included helping a family from Iraq. It was empowering for her to be able to calm the family down and ensure them that they would be taken care of. Leaving the scene, Chelsea felt optimistic about the interaction and happy about the positive impact she had on their perspective of law enforcement.

One of Chelsea’s major goals as a police officer is to be a mentor for other women in uniform. As a Field Training Officer, she has helped other women with their career goals by giving them advice and tools for how to be successful. Chelsea wants to make sure she assists other women in climbing the career ladder just as she is doing.

Not only should Chelsea be recognized simply for her law enforcement work, but Chelsea really puts her heart into her job. She was awarded the Sheriff's Star Award for stopping an attempted suicide and saving a woman’s life. Additionally, she has been named Officer of the Month three times for the Taylorsville Precinct.

Police officers don’t always have the opportunity to see the impact they make on others. One of Chelsea Winslow ImageChelsea’s most treasured memories is when she was stopped while walking out of a courthouse by a woman who thanked her immensely for her service as a police officer. This women explained that it is inspirational seeing a woman serving in law enforcement.

In addition to helping others daily in her job, Chelsea has chosen to participate in the Police Unity Tour - a 300 mile bike ride from New Jersey to Washington D.C. honoring police officers who have died in the line of duty. The ride will end with a candlelight vigil by over 50,000 people as the names of the fallen officers during 2016 are officially added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Chelsea shares, “I will ride in honor of Officer Doug Barney, Officer Cody Brotherson, and K9 Officer Aldo who all paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting their communities.” Click here to visit her fundraising page and donate to the cause.

Chelsea received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She chose the MIAGE program because of its interdisciplinary approach and flexibility to choose classes based on her future goals. Plus, everyone she saw who came through the program seemed to have found awesome opportunities for work.

Chelsea hopes to continue her career in criminal justice by combating transnational crime including drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism in local or federal law enforcement. The MIAGE program has been a great learning experience for her and all of her research has tied directly to her career goals. For the last two semesters she has also been serving on the Counterterrorism Simulation creation team for the Perspectives of Counterterrorism class, setting up intricate simulations for students to perform to gain counterterrorism experience.

We congratulate Chelsea on her upcoming graduation and wish her luck on the upcoming Police Unity Tour!


 

Andrea Soleta

Andrea Soleta ImageHometown: Cavite, Philippines 
Languages: English, Tagalog, Ilonggo
Semester: 4th
Favorite Course: Hinckley internship at the British Parliament

The MIAGE program is filled with incredibly hardworking and talented students who are from all over the world. Andrea is a star University of Utah student from the Philippines, receiving five scholarships and awards while in graduate school. One of these awards is the Abrelia C. Hinckley Graduate Scholarship for her significant experience in community involvement and commitment to a career in public service.

Recently, Andrea had the opportunity to intern at the British Parliament where she was able to visit the Prime Minister’s office and Andrea Soleta on a Bridge in Londontalk with government officials and locals about Brexit. Andrea’s favorite experience during her internship was giving tours of Parliament because she loved seeing people’s shocked faces as they watched a filipino explain detailed British history to crowds of tourists. Another highlight of the experience was giving her supervisor a 15-page policy brief about state pensions in the UK. Her supervisor was amazed by her work. Andrea shared it was so beneficial to learn firsthand British politics.

Andrea’s dream job is to work for an international organization such as WHO or UNICEF, but says she might realistically work for the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development or the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. Based on Andrea’s dedication, we have no doubt she will find success wherever she chooses to go.

Andrea Soleta as Miss United Nations USA Utah 2012Whenever Andrea talks to students in other graduate programs she thinks to herself about how grateful she is to be in the MIAGE program. Andrea loves the interdisciplinary approach of the MIAGE program and is excited about all the opportunities that are available to students. She shared how she loves that the classes are not fully focused on research papers and that you can have fun while learning from awesome professors.

Prior to her schooling in the MIAGE program, Andrea won Miss United Nations USA Utah 2012 by representing the Philippines. In the competition, Andrea won best in talent for her piano performance and best in evening gown for a gown that her sister sewed. Andrea also had the opportunity to intern at the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington D.C. in 2014 and served as the President of the Philippines Club during her undergrad at BYU, where she did a fundraising concert for typhoon Haiyan victims.

Check out this Facebook spotlight the University of Utah International Admissions did about Andrea.

Interested in doing an incredible internship like Andrea did? Check out internship opportunities available to MIAGE students through the Hinckley Institute.


 

    Chandler Jordana     


Hometown: Ogden, UT  Chandler Jordana
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Catalan  
Semester: 4th  
Favorite Course: Middle Eastern Law with Amos Guiora  

Chandler’s interdisciplinary experience and interests make him well-suited for the MIAGE program. Chandler completed BA degrees at Walla Walla University in both International Communication, with a French emphasis, and in Spanish Language & Literature. Chandler wasn’t even sure he wanted to pursue a graduate degree when he happened upon the MIAGE program, but was quickly enticed by MIAGE’s interdisciplinary approach. Currently Chandler is completing his fourth and final semester in the MIAGE program.

Due to his experience, Chandler has the ability to fit in whatever setting he is placed. Besides living in the US, Chandler has lived in Lebanon for work, Spain and France for study, and Italy as a volunteer at a nursing home. Chandler’s ability to speak several languages also helps him adapt to various settings, even though, as he shares, his fluency varies.

Chandler plans to pursue NGO/nonprofit management focusing on helping mitigate global instances of extreme poverty. Additionally, Chandler is interested in pursuing diplomacy or international journalism. These goals have reflected his school work; last semester he was able to write an extensive research paper on “The Exploitation of Migrant Workers in the Middle East” for Middle Eastern Law and orally present on “Global Development NGO Inefficiencies and Mismanagement” for the MIAGE Foundations class. Even with all of his experience, Chandler shares, “MIAGE has helped me to realize a lot of my weaknesses, as negative at that might sound. There are lots of areas that I've realized that I need to focus on improving in order to make myself more well-rounded, namely economics. I find business and econ very interesting, but my background is not in those areas and so I've had to put forth extra effort there.” Through the MIAGE program Chandler has been able to start strengthening those “weaknesses.”

Chandler’s international work isn’t limited to his schooling. Chandler is currently working as the local Job Development Supervisor at Catholic Community Services in the Refugee Resettlement Program. At his work he assists refugees in finding jobs, which includes networking with local companies and sharing the benefits of hiring refugees. Through his work, Chandler is able to sit on a few government and nonprofit refugee committees and boards. Chandler shares, “the most rewarding part is seeing clients improve, whether that means getting a better job or improving their English. They face many challenges and seeing them successfully overcome them is really cool. I also enjoy seeing refugees raise awareness regarding their plight.”

We are excited to see where Chandler goes next in his life adventures!

If you are also interested in nonprofit work, the time is now to follow Chandler’s example and get involved! Chandler explained, “there are literally hundreds of opportunities to volunteer with nonprofits in the valley. Take advantage of them!”


 

   Emily Estheimer

Hometown: Cache Valley, Utah and Oregon
Languages: English, German
Semester: 3rd
Favorite Course: Foundations of International Security from Steven Lobell and National Security Policy from Paul Slack

Emily is quite the international expert. Her undergraduate degree was in International Studies from Utah State University, and now has almost completed her Master of Science in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. She shares, "I chose the MIAGE program for its interdisciplinary approach. I think in our world today it is important to be able to analyze a situation from many different angles and perspectives in order to be able to come up with the most prudent situation."

Emily is going into international politics and diplomacy with the current plan of becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO). Her desire to enter this field comes from wanting to help others. Emily knows that political discourse, policy and diplomacy can help people around the globe gain access to opportunities that those who grew up in America sometimes take for granted.

While working toward her goal of becoming an FSO, Emily has been studying hard for the FSO test and just it on October 8th; she finds out her results in a couple weeks. The process to get hired as an FSO usually takes about a year, so Emily is planning on looking for work either locally or in Washington DC until that time following her graduation this spring.

Additionally, Emily shared that the MIAGE program has helped prepare her to become an FSO. She shares, "An FSO may be required to wear many hats (especially in a small consulate) so it is good to have a solid knowledge base across many areas. I also think that having a wider base of knowledge can help with relationship development and management in a foreign country. The more you understand about a country's history, political, economic, legal, and social makeup the easier it will be to connect with the locals and develop constructive relationships."

Emily's favorite courses thus far from the MIAGE program have been Foundations of International Security from Steven Lobell and National Security Policy from Paul Slack. Here are her observations about these classes:

-Foundations of International Security: "This course was definitely challenging, but it was also very interesting and informative. There was a lot of reading each week, but the discussions we had in class were great. This class is theory based, but I have been able to apply my knowledge from this course and relate it to the materials and practical applications in my other classes."

-National Security Policy: "Professor Slack has had a fascinating career - he served as the National Security Adviser to the Vice President during the Nixon Administration, and worked for the Marine Corps as a 1 star General - and has a wealth of knowledge about national security policy. He was able and willing to tell us about his firsthand experience in some of the events we discussed in class. I don't think there is anything more valuable than having access to someone who has that much experience and is willing to share it."

Remarkably, Emily has managed full-time work while doing full-time graduate school, which is not an easy feat. She is grateful that her job is on campus, at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which makes the commute between work and class simple. Sometimes Emily's schedule requires her to wake up early or stay up late to maintain excellence in her classes. Overall, Emily shares that she strives to be very conscious of how her time is allocated, which is a great lesson for all graduate students.

Even though she works hard in career and school, Emily finds time to be adventurous and have fun. Emily is an international traveler and has visited 13 countries with another trip planned in May to visit Germany, Croatia, Norway and Iceland! We are excited to have Emily as part of the MIAGE program.


 

   Erin Moore

ErinHometown: Simi Valley, CA
Languages: English, Arabic
Semester: 4th
Favorite Course: Managerial Negotiations with Dr. Kristina Diekmann

In 2013, Erin Moore's previously exciting life had come to a standstill. "I had just returned from volunteering in India for nine months. It was my first time living in a foreign country, and everything else I did felt small by comparison. All my job prospects were disappointing, and I knew I was capable of so much more. One day I googled 'international affairs masters,' and the rest is history!"

Erin began the MIAGE program in 2014 with plans to become a Foreign Service Officer. "That's still a long-term goal of mine, but MIAGE opened my eyes to so many other international possibilities." Erin has focused her MIAGE degree on international economics and business, while also learning Arabic. During her program, she participated in the law school's Counter-terrorism Simulation, she interned with an export consulting firm, and she won the business school's Games4Health competition by designing a video game and business plan to solve a health problem.

"It's incredible how many cool opportunities MIAGE can connect you to. We're really lucky to get to take all these different classes. I know my ability to integrate knowledge from so many different disciplines makes me competitive and unique."

Erin earned her BS and MS in sociology at Brigham Young University in 2011. She discovered her passion for international affairs while serving as the Volunteer Director for Rising Star Outreach of India, where she managed hundreds of foreign volunteers providing services for leprosy-affected families in Southern India. After graduating this semester, Erin plans to continue to build a career in export consulting.

Erin's advice to current and incoming students: "MIAGE opens so many doors for you, but it's up to you to walk through them. A lot of times you'll feel like a fish out of water. You'll be the only non-law student in a law class, for example, and you'll think, 'What the heck did I get myself into?' Those moments are major decision points. You can either hide in the back of the class, do just enough work to get by, and run away when it's over, or you can sink your teeth into it and make the most of the experience. Get to know your classmates. Meet with your professor. Attend lectures related to that topic. Prove to that class and to yourself that you belong there. Because you do. You wouldn't be in the program if you didn't."


   Cory McClellan

CoryHometown: Blackfoot, ID
Languages: English, Spanish
Semester: 4th
Favorite Course: Entrepreneurship and Poverty in Peru

Since August 2013, Cory works at American Express as the assistant to the Vice President and General Manager of World Service, Victor Ingalls. In this role, Cory provides strategic, analytical, and project management in support of new business development and operations enablement for over 2000 employees. Prior to working at American Express, he served as a Captain in the United States Air Force’s Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here, he oversaw the operations of a 200 member maintenance team, with responsibility for national strategic assets valued at $15 Billion.

Cory graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Utah in 2009, and is currently working towards a MS in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. Some of his favorite courses have been International Law, Linear Algebra, and Entrepreneurship and Poverty in Peru. During this last course, taught by Dr. Jay Barney, he spent eight days consulting small businesses in Cusco, Peru. His cost/benefit analysis resulted in the eventual crowdfunding of the investment needed for a machine to grind primary ingredients into guinea pig food. This machine optimized the expense and quality of the food needed to support the operations of an agricultural co-op comprised of 320 women-owned businesses.

Outside of work and school, Cory enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with his family and friends. As a hobby, he maintains a 30 gallon salt water aquarium with several dozen species of fish, invertebrates, and coral. Additionally he is a pilot, and enjoys flying to nearby destinations.


   Necoline Hubner

NecoHometown: None (Grew up in the Air Force)
Languages: English, German, Japanese
Semester: 3rd
Favorite Course: Middle East Law with Professor Amos Guiora

Prior to starting the MIAGE program Necoline worked as an English instructor specializing in online curriculum design. After graduating from BYU-Hawaii with a B.A in Teaching English as a Second Language she worked as a teacher in Washington D.C., Utah and Texas where she began developing education programs for the refugee population in Dallas. This work inspired her to go back to school to cultivate a skill set in international affairs in relation to refugee resettlement and policy. In addition to school, she is currently developing a human rights education program for refugees with the Asian Association of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Starting in January 2016, Necoline will leave for an internship working with U.S. joint forces in the European Command in Stuttgart, Germany working in Logistics and Emergency Medical response before returning to finish course work in the fall. Upon graduation, Necoline hopes find employment working for an international organization such as the UNHCR or IRC working with refugee program development.

 

brenen

Brenen Sidwell

Hometown: Cedar Hills, Utah
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French
Semester: 3rd
Favorite course: Foundations with Dr. Reynolds
Career goal: US Department of State or Help International

Brenen studied Political Science and Spanish as an undergraduate with an emphasis in World Politics. His experiences doing humanitarian work in India, Paraguay, and the Philippines, as well as an internship with the Consulate of Spain, have led him to seek an international career. With his training in the MIAGE program he plans to build a career in international development, serving people abroad either through government agencies or NGOs.

anbes

Anbes Mebrahtu

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Languages: English, Amharic (Ethiopia), and Tigrigna (Eritrea)
Semester: 4th 
Favorite course: Multinational Firms with Dr. Reynolds 

Anbes is pursuing an internship the African Union's Department of Peace and Security, where he hopes to participate in negotiations over border conflicts, including Sudan and South Sudan disputes and Ethio-Eritrean disputes. He would also like to work toward the creation of a common market in the East African region and the free movement of people and trade between neighboring countries. Eventually, Anbes would like to establish a sustainable business in his home country of Ethiopia, such as a bicycle or handicraft shop, which will employ locals and uplift the community.

  William (Bill) Merkle 

bill

Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Languages: English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese
Semester: 3rd
Favorite Course: Foreign Investment Law with Professor Benedict Kingsbury

Bill is an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a BS in Humanities and academic distinction in 2014.  In 2015, Bill completed a graduate fellowship at the Asian Studies Center of The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He has published articles about security and economy in the Asia-Pacific with The National Interest, a leading defense newspaper in Washington, D.C. and with the University of Pennsylvania’s SIR Journal of International Relations.

Bill served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan from 2009 to 2011. He provided humanitarian assistance during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. In March 2012, Bill formed a service club called “Cadets in Action Overseas” (CIAO), where he led a team of cadets to clear debris from water drains in devastated fishing villages in northern Japan. CIAO also provided humanitarian assistance in Haiti in December 2012 under Bill’s leadership. Bill was recognized as a 2013 Truman Scholarship Finalist for these accomplishments.

Bill also completed a six-month study abroad to Nanjing, China. His interests include disaster relief, international investment law, and the study of U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Australia relations. Bill also holds his private pilot license and will enter pilot training in January 2016.

shuktika

Shuktika Maheshwari 

Hometown: Kanpar, Uttar Pradesh, India
Languages: English, Hindi
Semester: 4th
Favorite course: International Management with Dr. Boam

Before joining the MIAGE program, Shuktika worked for the Education and Research Division of Infosys Ltd in Karnataka, India. She desired to give her career new direction in business and banking and had long been interested in studying in the United States. These interests drew Shuktika to the MIAGE program, which was especially appealing because of its diversity of courses. Currently in her third semester, her studies focus on international economics and communication and their impact on business opportunities in emerging global markets. Shuktika will graduate next year and plans to work in global investment banking and finance.

Jessica

Jessica Visbal

Hometown: Miami, FL
Languages: Spanish, Italian, French, English
Semester: 6th
Favorite Course: Global Justice with Dr. Guiora
Current Internship: US Embassy in Rome, Italy

Jessica earned her Bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Latin American studies from Pace University in New York City. During her undergraduate studies, she interned with the United Nations Colombian Consulate, also in New York City, working in translation and interpretation. Jessica joined the MIAGE program because of its breadth, as her ambitious career goals require knowledge of both economics and law. She graduates from the University of Utah this semester and will be spending the summer interning with the American embassy in Rome. Her work will be in the office of political economy and American services, helping to facilitate and improve the relationship between the Italian government and US merchants. Jessica plans to work in intelligence for the FBI or State Department, focusing on European and Latin American Affairs.  

 

Thomas Hone

thomas

 

Hometown: Pleasant View, Utah
Languages: English, Arabic
Semester: 6th
Favorite courses: National Security Policy with Professor Slack; Global Perspectives on Counter-Terrorism with Dr. Guiora
Career goal: Counter-terrorism

 

I have always been interested in why groups, societies, and nations do what they do. However, in my studies I've learned that not one single discipline holds all the answers. Global issues are extremely complex and must be looked at from multiple angles. This is why I chose the MIAGE program. MIAGE has allowed me to explore issues through the eyes of a political scientist, economist, historian, anthropologist, and lawyer. As I pursue a counter-terrorism career with the US State Department, I know this broad and very hands-on training will help me contribute to the development of solutions for the world's most difficult challenges. I have enjoyed my time in the program and am excited to begin the next chapter in my career. 

Vinita Kriangsantikul

vinita  

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Languages: Thai, English
Semester: 4th
Favorite course: International Management with Dr. Boam

 

Vinita finished her undergraduate studies in Thailand in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Law from Kasetsart University. During her third year, she also worked as a trainee at the Reconciliation Center of the Civil Court. After graduation, Vinita turned her focus to international business and investment, moving to the US to join the MIAGE program in Spring 2014. For Vinita, MIAGE has been a great opportunity to build her skills in multiple areas of business and investment, especially multinational firms, economics, and management. She will complete the program in Spring 2015, after which she intends to work in the US for a few years before returning to her home country of Thailand to start her own business.

  Lisa Little

 lisa Hometown: Newberg, Oregon
  Languages: English, Spanish
  Semester: 4th
  Favorite course: Foundations with Dr. Reynolds
  Career goal: International NGO

Lisa interned with the Scottish National Party (SNP) at the Scottish Parliament for the Spring 2014 semester. Her assignments focused on external written communication for an MSP-Member of the Scottish Parliament, Colin Beattie. Duties included writing motions, press releases and a weekly column; responding to constituents through letters; writing congratulatory letters; and assisting with group visits to the Parliament. Lisa wrote a speech for debate on geothermal energy and submitted a report to the minister of energy about creating a working group on the industry. She did extensive research on hydraulic fracturing and geothermal energy. Lisa observed the politics surrounding the referendum vote, which took place September 18th, 2014.

 
Sofiya Mykhalska

 Hometown: Torez, Ukrainesofiya
  Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English
  Semester: 3rd
  Favorite course: Multinational Firms with Dr. Reynolds
  

After earning her Master's degree in English teaching, Sofiya moved to Utah from Ukraine seven years ago. Upon moving to the States Sofiya sought to expand her knowledge in disciplines like economics, politics, and international studies. After extensively researching all the programs available in these areas, the MIAGE program turned out to be just what she was looking for. Sofiya will complete the program next year, and she has big plans after graduation. She intends to work in intelligence as a language analyst. Additionally, she hopes to set up a non-profit in her home country of Ukraine, which has recently experienced a Russian military invasion. Sofiya would like to establish a foundation providing food and shelter for orphans in Eastern Ukraine. Next semester she will take a course in management of non-profit organizations to equip her with the skills necessary to accomplish this.

  Kirk Galster

kirk

 

Hometown: Clinton, Iowa
Semester in MIAGE: Third
Languages: Arabic, English
Favorite course: Economics of Multinational Firms with Dr. Reynolds 

After serving three years active duty in the U.S. Army as an infantrymen, Kirk received his BA in Political Science and a secondary major of International Studies with an emphasis in Middle East and North African conflict. He joined the Iowa Army National Guard in 2008 and was trained as a satellite imagery analyst. During active duty, he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-06, and during his guard service he completed a tour to Afghanistan in 2010-11.He completed a semester abroad in Amman, Jordan in the fall of 2012 which focused on language acquisition and Arab-Israeli politics. Kirk has taken two years of Modern Standard Arabic and is currently in his third year under the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. His plans to pursue a career in international business development utilizing foreign investment and microfinance and focusing on conflict reduction and counter-terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa.


 Andrew Radcliffe   

Hometown: Vancouver, Washingtonandrew
Semester in MIAGE: Sixth
Languages: English, German
Favorite course: Counter Terrorism Simulation Design with Amos Guiora

Andrew finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah in 2012 with BA's in Political Science and History and a minor in International Studies.  His education focused on international relations and 20th century conflicts. Andrew completed a semester abroad in Kiel, Germany in the summer of 2011 which focused on German language studies.  He joined the MIAGE program in the summer of 2013 and will graduate this May.  In the Spring of 2014, Andrew was the first non-law student invited to join the counter-terrorism simulation design team at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. This team has spent the last year designing a simulation to test students' ability to respond to terrorism scenarios in real-time. The Lassonde Institute is currently preparing an article on the simulation for their annual publication "Student Innovations." Andrew is currently seeking employment in global investment research with Goldman Sachs and waiting for an update on his application for Fulbright grants to continue his studies in England.  In the long run, he plans to pursue a public service career in diplomacy or intelligence with an emphasis in counter-terrorism. 

 

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Last Updated: 4/8/17