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Student-broadcasters ranked nationally in College Broadcasters competition

STUDENT BROADCASTERSMuskingum University’s Orbit TV ranked in the top four student media outlets in the nation at the College Broadcasters, Incorporated annual National Student Electronic Media Convention, held recently in Seattle. 

Orbit TV had two national finalists in the category of National Student Production Awards.  Luke’s Tech Corner was a finalist in the category of Best Vodcast and The Muskie Daily Special Edition:  Bomb Threat Update was a finalist in the category of Best Television Special Broadcast.  Nationally, there were 800 entries in 24 categories of competition.

The team for the two productions was Christine Holmes ’16, Kayla Rausch ’16, Haley Ellis ’15, Luke Carmichael ’15 and Amanda Mlikan ’13..

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right: Christine Holmes ’16, Amanda Mlikan ’13, Kayla Rausch ’16, Haley Ellis ’15, and Luke Carmichael ’15. 


Students present research at Fall Research and Internship Forum

RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP FORUMStudents from both the Science Division and other academic disciplines presented their research and internship findings at the university’s annual Fall Research and Internship Forum, held recently on the campus in New Concord, Ohio.

Students presented their findings in a poster format that is typically associated with professional presentations in the sciences.  The following students made presentations:

Jennifer Hastings ’16, Connor Hann ’16, Allie Leggett ’15, Sarah Landuyt ’17, Morgenna Zuby ’17, Jonathan Raugh ’16 and Devin Perry ’17 presented A Comparison of Grassland Birdpoint-Count Data on Two Regions of a Reclaimed Surface Mine (The Wilds) in Southeastern Ohio for the Biology Department.

Hayley Glaze ’15 and Bo-wen Deng ’15 presented Survey of Amphibian Distribution on a 26-Hectare Plot Surrounded by Reclaimed Surface Mine Land for the Environmental Science Program.  They were advised by Dr. Danny Ingold, who is Muskingum’s Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences.

Sarah Homan ’15 presented Rural Action Internship at Huff Run Watershed for the Geology Department.

Aliyah Byron ’16 presented Presence of CBL in Neurons and Astrocytes for the Neuroscience Program.  She collaborated on the project with Kaitlyn Hassenfeild, Erica Carey, Robert E. McCullumsmith and Jenifer McGuire of the University of Cincinnati.

Sean Lally ’15 presented Continuous Improvement of Factory Performance and Reliability for the Department of Physics and Engineering.

Kelli Brock ’15, a 2014 Summer Muskie Fellow, presented  A Continued Study on the Impact of Implement Conservation Practices on the Salt Creek Watershed in Muskingum County, Ohio for the Department of Chemistry.  She was advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau and worked with Nicole Hafer and Lisa Crock of the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District.

Taylor Maurer ’15 presented Occupational Therapy Observation Hours at Aultman Hospital and Concorde Kids for the Biology Department. 

Sarah E. Francino ’16 presented An Internship at Fern Hollow Nature Center for the Biology Department.

Elizabeth Hartman ’16 representing the Departments of English and Political Science; Christine Holmes ’16, representing the Department of English and Journalism; and Michael Klamo ’15, representing the Departments of History and Political Science, presented Muskie Fellow Program at the Muskingum County Business Incubator.

Deborah N. Carrol ’15 and Cameron J. Godfrey ’15 presented Methods for Grafting Short Polymeric Units onto Kraft Lignin for the Department of Chemistry.

Rebecca Keeley ’15 presented Internship at the Williamstown Animal Hospital, West Virginia for the Biology Department.

Nicholas Bulinski ’16 presented Artificial Intelligence Capable of Deducing Hidden Elements in Gaming Structures for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Alexandra Leggett ’15 presented Butterfly Diversity of Butterfly Habitats at The Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio for the Conservation Science Program.

Matthew Allen ’15 presented Characterization of Various Surface-Level Oil Shale Samples for the Chemistry Department.

Richard Moore ’15 presented Thermodynamic Investigation of Marcellus Shale for the Chemistry Department.


Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau earns Conservation Educator of the Year award from Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District

DR. LOIS ZOOK GERDAUMuskingum University Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau has been named the Conservation Educator of the Year by the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District. 

The award was instituted in 1984 and aims to create an awareness and appreciation of the value of conservation education and to stimulate efforts by teachers to advance the wise use, protection and enhancement of the nation’s soil, water and related resources.  Each year, one Muskingum County educator is honored. 

Dr. Zook-Gerdau has been working with the District for more than 10 years in its monitoring program for the Salt Creek Watershed.  Along with her students, Dr. Zook-Gerdau and the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District worked to establish a baseline for water quality in the Salt Creek Watershed, as well as to monitor changes to that quality.  Water samples were gathered at multiple sites which were initially tested by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Through her efforts, Muskingum University then acquired the equipment necessary to do the testing to Ohio EPA standards at Muskingum University.

In 2013, Dr. Zook-Gerdau wrote a proposal for Muskingum’s Summer Fellows program to provide a Muskingum student as an intern to the District.  That student, Amanda Preslicka, provided a wide range of services, including the development of additional water sampling sites.  After her graduation from Muskingum last year, Preslicka went on to be accepted to graduate school with a full scholarship.  In 2014, Dr. Zook-Gerdau made arrangements to provide two more student interns so the water sampling work could continue and be expanded.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau was nominated for the award by Nicole Hafer, the District’s Education/Wildlife Specialist.  In her nomination letter Hafer said, “We are proud of the relationship we have with Muskingum University and recognize this partnership would not be possible without the help of Dr. Zook-Gerdau. She has helped the District continue the Salt Creek Watershed project, supplied us with wonderful student interns and provided advice and assistance to improve several programs.”

Dr. Zook-Gerdau joined the faculty at Muskingum in 2002 and currently is an advisor for the University’s Environmental Science program.   Her scholarly interests include analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and environmental chemistry.  She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa and performed fuel cell research as a post-doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory before becoming an educator. 


Dr. Barb Hansen chairs national conference,  Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovation and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity

DR. BARB HANSENMuskingum University Distinguished Professor of Education Dr. Barbara A. Hansen chaired a national conference, Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovating and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity, held this fall at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus.  The event was hosted by Battelle for Kids, the Ohio Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education. 

Among the keynote speakers at the event were U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Former Governors Jim Geringer (Wyoming), Bev Perdue (North Carolina), Bob Taft (Ohio); and Bob Wise (West Virginia) and Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys: A Memoir (adapted into the movie, October Sky). 

"This two-day event was designed to inspire individual potential and possibilities by  sharing examples from powerful rural schools and education leaders who are linked to prosperous rural communities,” said  Dr. Hansen, the Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning at Muskingum University since 2005.

The East Muskingum Local School District in New Concord was represented by Jill Johnson, Steve Brooks, Adams Brenner, Gail Requardt and Anne Troendly who spoke on the Ohio Appalachian Collaboration, A Road to Success – Transforming Rural Education.

Executive Director of Battelle for Kids Dr. Jim Mahoney and Ohio State Superintendent Richard Ross greeted attendees, as well as presented.  Participants from 12 states attended. 


Speech and Debate team places third at Kentucky tournament

The Muskingum University speech and debate team earned third place in team sweepstakes at the Bluegrass Invitational Forensics Tournament, held recently at the University of Kentucky.  More than 20 teams from across the country competed at the event.

Contributing to the win in the individual events categories were the following students:
Jamie Graves '15 placed second in Programmed Oral Interpretation and also competed in Prose.  In addition, she was named Muskingum’s Most Valuable Speaker of the tournament.
Jaliah Oglesby '18 earned third place in Programmed Oral Interpretation and also competed in Prose Interpretation. 
Cody Petit '15 competed in Prose, Persuasive Speaking and Parliamentary Debate.
Jason Schaumleffel '18 competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and Parliamentary Debate.
In debate, the team of Schaumleffel and Pettit earned 12 combined team sweepstakes points with a quarterfinal win against Grove City.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Two students selected for Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Exhibition, with one chosen as best of show

MANDAHU HE AND JIAJIN LANArtworks by two Muskingum University students have been selected to appear in the Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Annual Exhibition, titled Expressions.

Mandahu He '17 was selected for a painting titled Landscape of New Concord and that work was named Best of Show.  Jiajin Lan '18 was selected for the exhibition for two works titled Reflection of Summer and Impression of Autumn.  Both students graduated from Lanzhou High School #53, considered the best art school in Lazhou City, China.

The Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Annual Exhibition is a juried competition, which had more than 40 entries this year.  The artists’ works were judged by Christopher Leeper, president of the Watermedia Society. IN THE PHOTO: Mandahu He (left), and Jiajin Lan.

Professor of Art Ken McCollum is exhibitor and presenter for international Zanesville Prize competition and exhibitor at 70th Ohio Annual exhibition

KEN MCCOLLUMMuskingum University Professor of Art Ken McCollum was both an exhibitor and a presenter at the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics competition, the largest Best of Show prize competition in the Western Hemisphere, and currently is an exihibitor at the 70th Annual Ohio Annual Exhibition.

McCollum showed 10 pieces at the Zanesville competition’s exhibition at the Seilers’ Studio and Gallery.

The porcelain ceramic art work McCollum creates tends to communicate the importance of image to American society. His pieces often narrate a different story using several repetitive symbols and the title of each piece is often incorporated into the design. Although humorous in appearance initially, the serious nature of the subject is discovered through close inspection.

McCollum also made a presentation on his ceramics techniques at the Zanesville show.  Participants at both sessions were invited to join him in practicing his techniques, with an emphasis on stencils, sgraffito, underglazes and engobes. 

McCollum is also an exhibitor at the 70th Ohio Annual Exhibition, being held at the Zanesville Museum of Art, 620 Military Road in Zanesville, now through January 3, 2015.

The juried competition is open to all Ohio artists, and was formerly the museum’s May Show.  The current competition was renamed and expanded to include all Ohio artists in all media to better represent the broad array of high-quality work being created by artists across the state.  The juror for this year’s competition is Edward Pauley, director of the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University in Athens. 

McCollum’s entry into the Ohio Annual competition is a ceramic jardinere titled Good Morning Vietnam.  The two-part theme of the piece encompasses the complex questions that surrounded the country’s involvement in Vietnam and marks the role of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division in the war.  Known as “The Big Red One,” the 1st Infantry is the Army’s oldest continuously-serving division and saw heavy combat in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967.

McCollum joined the Muskingum University faculty in 2000.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in ceramics from Phillips University, a master’s degree in sculpture from West Texas State University and master of fine arts degree with a concentration in ceramic arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Schaumleffel '18 earns top honors at speech tournament

Muskingum University first-year student Jason Schaumleffel earned top honors at the Audrey Cunningham Forensics 500 Tournament, held this fall in Indianapolis. 

Schaumleffel, a computer science and political science major, won in the category of extemporaneous speaking, which requires the student to prepare and present a speech on a specific topic in a strictly controlled amount of time. 

The tournament was attended by more than a dozen colleges and universities from five states.

Also representing the Muskingum team were Jaliah Oglesby '18, a business management and marketing major, who competed in prose interpretation; and Cody Petit '15, a political science and communication major, who competed in prose and persuasive speaking.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock. 

Robert Lee Fields III '17 awarded scholarship from United Parcel Service Foundation

Muskingum University sophomore Robert Lee Fields III is the recipient of a 2014 United Parcel Service (UPS) scholarship.  Fields, a business management and health administration major from Akron, was one of approximately 30 students in the state to receive the honor.

The annual scholarship is awarded by the UPS Foundation through its UPS Educational Endowment Fund.   In Ohio, the scholarship awards are made through a partnership of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), of which Muskingum University is a member, and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).  This year, the CIC has granted approximately $1.5 million in UPS scholarship support nationwide.  The awards are based on a student’s academic performance and financial need.

Awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship and faculty service granted at Convocation

FACULTY AWARD WINNERSAt Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 26 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Communication Eugene L. Alesandrini. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Professor Alesandrini, Dr. Callaghan said, “Professor Alesandrini is one of those natural-born teachers – the kind of person that cares about young people, wants then to succeed, and gives them the tools and the knowledge it takes to make them succeed.”

Professor Alesandrini joined the faculty in 1987.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. 

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of Religion Dr. Peter W. Gosnell.  This award is named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago.

Of his scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted the publication of Dr. Gosnell’s critically acclaimed new book, The Ethical Vision of the Bible: Learning Good from Knowing God, and said, “Dr. Gosnell’s book is attracting the spotlight, and its warm glow is reflecting very well upon Muskingum University.  Dr. Gosnell’s book is not only the result of the scholar in the library, but also the teacher in the classroom, because he honed his material there.”

Dr. Gosnell joined the faculty at Muskingum in 2002.  He earned his bachelor’s degree  from Princeton University, his master of divinity degree and his master of theology degree from Western Seminary and his doctoral degree from the University of Sheffield. 

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Associate Professor of History Dr. Thomas E. McGrath.  It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Dr. McGrath’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. McGrath’s attention to detail, his unwavering commitment to including multiple voices and his willingness to discuss and handle people’s questions and concerns must be recognized.”

Dr. McGrath joined the Muskingum faculty in 2002.  He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree and his doctoral degree from Cornell University.

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right, Dr. Thomas E. McGrath, Eugene L. Alesandrini, Dr. Peter W. Gosnell and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.  


Convocation features address by 1986 alumnus William W. Goetz ’86

WILLIAM W. GOETZMuskingum University held its Convocation on August 26, featuring an address by 1986 alumnus William W. Goetz.

In his address, Mr. Goetz told the students, “My best advice to you is simply to show up.  Show up for your classes, show up for events on campus and show up to support your friends.  If you truly engage during your time here, you will benefit richly from it.”

William (Bill) Goetz is senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sysco Corporation. A Fortune 500 company with annual sales of $44 billion, Sysco is the global leader in providing food products and foodservice equipment and supplies to restaurant, hospitality, educational, and healthcare facilities.

Mr. Goetz earned his bachelor of arts degree from Muskingum in business and economics, with a minor in speech. Immediately following his graduation, he began his career as a management trainee at Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company which provides corporate identity, uniform, safety, and first aid programs to the service and manufacturing industries.

He progressed through a series of roles with increasing responsibility at Cintas, becoming an officer of the company in 1997. In 2003, he joined ECOLAB Corporation – a water, hygiene, and energy technologies business service provider – to serve as vice president – corporate marketing and vice president – International marketing. He returned to Cintas in 2006 as vice president – marketing and merchandising and in 2008 was named president and chief operations officer – global accounts and strategic markets. He helped lead Cintas to record annual sales of $4 billion before joining Sysco in 2012.

Mr. Goetz and his wife Joellen reside in Houston, Texas, and are the parents of Cooper, Emma, and James.


Coaches, trainers and athletes cool off for a good cause

Muskingum’s athletic department took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 25, just after noon on the Quad.  Coaches, athletes and trainers all took the plunge, and challenged their colleagues at other OAC schools to do the same.  To date, the challenge has raised millions of dollars for ALS research.  The Zanesville Times Recorder was there and got some amazing mid-splash photos.  To see the story, click here.  For the coverage on MUFightingMuskies, Muskingum’s YouTube channel for sports, click here

Zach Mizer named head wrestling coach

ZACH MIZERZach Mizer has been named head coach of the Muskingum University wrestling team.

Mizer arrives in New Concord after serving the past three years as assistant wrestling coach at Buena Vista University. At Buena Vista, he assisted in all areas of the wrestling program including recruiting coordination, organizing and executing practice plans, arranging team travel, assisting in fundraising and reviewing match film with the student-athletes.  During his tenure, Mizer coached one national qualifier, three Academic All-Americans and aided one wrestler in setting the school record with 18 pins.

Following the 2013-2014 season, Mizer served as co-coach for a group of 12 wrestlers from across the United States who took a trip overseas to practice and compete in Istanbul, Bulgaria, Bucharest and Paris.

"Zach brings a wealth of wrestling experience and knowledge to Muskingum," said Athletic Director Larry Shank. "I'm looking forward to Zach building a successful wrestling program."

A 2010 graduate of Heidelberg University with a bachelor’s degree in history, Mizer was a four-year letter winner, three-time national qualifier and two-time MVP for the Student Princes.  He posted a career record of 112-42, including a pair of 30-win seasons, and is second on the school's all-time career list for wins.  He ended his senior year as national runner-up in the 157-pound weight class and was a key member of four consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference tournament championship teams and two OAC regular season championship teams.  He was also the OAC champion at 149 pounds in 2008.

Following graduation, Mizer remained with the program and served as a graduate assistant coach until 2012.  During that time, he coached 10 All-OAC wrestlers, six Academic All-Americans and four national qualifiers.

Chris Limle ’09 named head men’s soccer coach

CHRIS LIMLEChris Limle ’09 has been named head coach of Muskingum’s men’s soccer team.

Limle previously served as the head coach of the Thiel College men’s soccer team. He took over the Tomcats in the spring of 2013 and managed all aspects of the program, including recruiting, planning and developing practice sessions, gameday management, fundraising efforts and budget operations. He also coached one player to All-President’s Athletic Conference honors.

Prior to Thiel, Limle served as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s soccer program at NCAA Division II Concord University. While at Concord, he was involved in all facets of the program, including training the men’s and women’s goalkeepers and serving as the recruiting coordinator for the men’s team. He also helped coach six Concord student-athletes to All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recognition.

"Chris has the experience and mindset to be successful,” said Muskingum Athletic Director Larry Shank. “He possesses a vast array of skills and knowledge necessary to lead our program and it's great to have a Muskie return to campus and lead our future Muskies.”

Before going to Concord, Limle was an assistant men’s coach and goalkeeper coach for one year at Muskingum. He moved into coaching after a successful collegiate playing career at Urbana University and Muskingum. In 2006, he helped lead Muskingum to its most successful season in program history, finishing with a 10-7-1 record. In 2008, Muskingum earned its first-ever appearance in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.

His soccer background includes currently serving as state goalkeeping coach for the West Virginia Olympic Development Program and recently working as the goalkeeper coach for the National Premier Soccer League Midwest Great Lakes Conference Champions AFC Cleveland.  Additionally, he has coached for the Columbus Crew Youth Development Programs and the Region I and Region II Olympic Development Programs, where he was an assistant goalkeeper coach for the Ohio South State Olympic Development Program (ODP), as well as the Ohio South ODP state coach.

Limle has a United States Soccer Federation National “D” License and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National License in addition to his NSCAA state goalkeeping diploma. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Muskingum in 2009 and his master’s degree in health promotion from Concord in 2014. His other duties at Muskingum will include serving as the head men’s tennis coach and as an instructor in the health and physical education department.

Stories from our 2013-2014 academic year
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Undergraduate commencement features address by Dennis D. Grant ’62 and baccalaureate speech by Sylvia Rapp Sabia ’72

DENNIS GRANTSYLVIA RAPP SABIAMuskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 10, featuring an address by 1962 alumnus Dennis D. Grant. The baccalaureate address was delivered by 1972 alumna Sylvia Rapp Sabia. Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred. Read the whole story.








aster’s degrees granted at 2014 graduate commencement, with address by Dr. Bill P. Lovejoy ’51

BILL LOVEJOYMuskingum University granted master’s degrees at its graduate commencement exercises, held May 8 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1951 alumnus Dr. Bill P. Lovejoy.  Degrees conferred were the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Arts in Education and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology. Read the whole story.







Dr. Joy Cowdery named Janet Brown Rothwell Distinguished Professor of Education

DR JOY COWDERYDr. Joy Cowdery has been named the Janet Brown Rothwell Distinguished Professor of Education at Muskingum, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2002. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marietta College and her M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from West Virginia University.

“Dr. Cowdery’s excellence in teaching has set her apart. Her special area of interest is in expanding students’ knowledge of cultural diversity issues,” said Dr. Sheila Ellenberger, Muskingum’s Henry S. and Katherine W. Evans Director and Distinguished Librarian, at Dr. Cowdery’s installation.

A scholar, researcher and writer, Dr. Cowdery was a co-author of  “The Raul Project,” part of the book, Building on Student Diversity: Profiles and Activities, which has been added to more than 650 libraries and has been launched as an online publication.

This year, she contributed a chapter, “Living on the Fringe: Immigrations and English Language Learners  in Appalachian Ohio,” to the book Cross-Cultural Considerations in the Education of Young Immigrant Learners.  Dr. Cowdery recently contributed a chapter, “Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch” for the book, The Poor Are Not the Problem: Insisting on Class Equity in Schools.

Her articles regularly appear in professional journals including TESOL; Journal, Kappa Delta Pi Record, Journal from the Ohio Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Ohio Journal of Teacher Education; and the ASCD Journal.  

In 2007, Dr. Cowdery received the Cora I. Orr Faculty Award for Excellence in Service to Muskingum, one of the university’s top faculty awards.   She founded Muskingum’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, a national educational honorary society, and she was tapped by the national Kappa Delta Pi office to act as a representative on the Authors’ Circuit to promote the book So To Teach.

Her other service include acting as a board member and organizer for Cambridge’s Festival of Learning.  She was also appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to serve on the Public Education Advisory Group.

Dr. Cowdery lives in Marietta, Ohio, with her husband, Joe.  They have three sons.

About Janet Brown Rothwell

Through the Janet Brown Rothwell Professorship, the lives of Muskingum’s students will be changed in perpetuity – because of Bill and Janet Rothwell.  Janet Brown Rothwell was born in New Concord in 1932.  She graduated from Muskingum in the class of 1954, earning her bachelor’s degree in home economics education.  She began teaching in Ohio and California, and in 1962 joined the Glenbrook School District in Glenview, Illinois, where she helped open the Glenbrook South High School as the head of the Home Economics Department.  She continued her own education, earning her master’s degree in home economic education from Northern Illinois University in 1972. 

After 30 years with Glenbrook, she retired as the District’s Instructional Supervisor of Home Economics and Health.  She was an accomplished quilter and clothing seamstress, and she and her husband, Bill, enjoyed 20 years of retirement living on Presque Isle Lake before her death in 2012 at the age of 80.

Dr. Dinah F. Meyer presents paper on psychosocial needs of first-time mothers over age 40

DINAH F MEYERAssociate Professor of Psychology Dr. Dinah F. Meyer presented a paper on the Psychosocial Needs of First-Time Mothers Over Age 40 at the 86th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association held in Chicago. Read the whole story.







Ryder Cunningham ’14 earns scholarship from Phi Sigma Iota

RYDER CUNNINGHAMRyder Cunningham '14 was one of only a few students in the country to earn the Dr. Anthony S. Corbiere Scholarship from Phi Sigma Iota, the international foreign language honor society. Cunningham will graduate on May 10 with degrees in English and Spanish.             

As a student, he presented the paper for his senior project in his Spanish major, titled Vivir después de morir: La distorsión de géneros y la imagen de Araceli en Luna caliente por Mempo Giardinelli, to Phi Sigma Iota’s annual Undergraduate Conference.  During a recent trip to Bowling Green State University, where he had been accepted for graduate study in Spanish, it was suggested that the paper be submitted for publication.

In 2013, Cunningham completed a semester abroad at La Universidad Blas Pascal in Córdoba, Argentina, where he studied Spanish language, Latin American literature and Argentine culture. In 2011, he studied in London.

At Muskingum, Cunningham earned many of the university’s highest academic honors.  He received the Presidential Scholarship, the Mary E. Sharp Award in Spanish, the Sarah Wilhelm Award in English and the Matilda E. Bailey Award in English.

Away from the classroom, he served as an officer of the university’s chapter of Phi Sigma Iota and held membership in the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, as well as Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for all academic disciplines.

Cunningham was nominated for the scholarship by Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Beth A. Butler and Professor of German Dr. Franz-Joseph Wehage.  His faculty advisors were Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Sandra L. Alzate and Assistant Professor of English Dr. Kekoa C. Kaluhiokalani.  

Senior Science Division students present research at The James Bradford Colloquium

MEGAN DUKESenior Science Division students presented their research findings at the annual James Bradford Colloquium, held April 21 in Boyd Science Center. The colloquium is the culmination of research conducted by seniors from the division’s biology, chemistry, geology, physics and engineering, mathematics, computer science and psychology departments, as well as interdisciplinary programs in molecular biology, environmental science, neuroscience and conservation science. Read the whole story.






Dr. Homer A. Anderson Lecture features address by Anya Sherwood ’08

ANYA SHERWOODThe Science Division held its annual Dr. Homer A. Anderson Lecture on April 24, delivered by alumna Anya Belyaevskaya Sherwood ’08. Her presentation was titled Riboswitches: Unique Regulation of Gene Expression Through Changes in RNA Structure. Immediately following the Anderson Lecture, Science Division students presented their research findings in poster presentations, and were on hand to answer questions from their faculty and fellow students.  Read the whole story.






Two student-broadcasters earn national and state scholarships

KAYLA RAUSCHCHRISTINE HOLMESTwo Muskingum University students earned national and state scholarships in recognition of their work with the university’s broadcast stations and campus newspaper, known collectively as Orbit Media.

Kayla Rausch ’16 has received the Broadcast Education Association Walter S. Patterson Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year, which is awarded to a student that plans to pursue a career in radio. Rausch is a communications and digital media design major from New Philadelphia, Ohio.  Her faculty advisors are Associate Professor of Digital Media Design Dr. Tom German and Associate Professor of Communication Gene Alesandrini.

Christine Holmes ’16 received the Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. She is an English and journalism major from Youngstown, Ohio.   Her faculty advisors are Associate Professor of Journalism Dr. Vivian Wagner and Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa Marshall.

Both Rausch and Holmes are actively involved in all three of the university’s student media outlets, WMCO-FM,, WMCO-TV and the Black and Magenta, the campus newspaper.  They were encouraged to apply for their scholarships by their faculty advisors. 

IN THE PHOTO: Kayla Rausch (left) and Christine Holmes.

Engineering science seniors present projects at conference

ENGINEERING SCIENCE STUDENTSFive seniors from Muskingum's Engineering Science program presented their senior research projects at the annual North Central Section Conference of the American Society of Engineering Education, held April 5 at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. 

Brian Sayre and Brandon Leyda presented A Dog Leash That Won’t King Tut You.

Stephanie Metzger and Luke Weber presented Design for a Window AC Unit Using Solidworks Flow Simulation.

Wuyan Li presented, Improvement of an Automatic Gear Change System.  Li worked with Keyang He, a computer science and mathematics major.

The students were accompanied by Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Sandra Soto-Cabán and Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Emre Selvi.

The American Society for Engineering Education is committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.  Its more than 12,000 members include deans, department heads, faculty members, students and government and industry representatives who represent all disciplines of engineering and engineering technology.

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right, Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Sandra Soto-Cabán, Lucas Weber, Brandon Leyda, Brian Sayre, Stephanie Metzger, Wuyan Li and Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Emre Selvi.

Michael Klamo '15 presents research findings at national symposium

MICHAEL KLAMOMichael Klamo '15 presented his research findings at the national Europe: East And West Undergraduate Research Symposium held at the University of Pittsburgh on April 11.

A junior history and political science major, Klamo's presentation was titled, Whose Land is it Anyway:  Contrasting Narratives of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Games, which made a comparison of narratives about the Gamesfrom the radical Islamist “Caucasus Emirate” and the ultranationalist “Movement Against Illegal Immigration.” 

Klamo was nominated to make the presentation by Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Richard Arnold.  Klamo’s work began on the project as a part of Dr. Arnold’s Russian Foreign Policy class.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is an annual event that provides undergraduate students with advanced research experiences and opportunities to develop presentation skills. It is open to students from all majors and institutions who have written a research paper from a social science, humanities or business perspective, focusing on the study of eastern, western or central Europe, the European Union, Russia or other countries of the former Soviet Union.


Chandrika Misra '16 earns scholarship from international student magazine

ANGERT AND MISRAChandrika Misra '16 earned a scholarship for an essay she wrote for International Student Voice magazine. 

Chandrika, a native of New Delhi, India, is attending Muskingum to study economics, accounting and business.  Her essay, titled The Best Friend That Anybody Could Have, describes the great value of her relationship with her roommate, Rebecca Angert '16, and how Rebecca’s support and that of her family helped Chandrika feel at home at Muskingum and in the United States. Rebecca is a history and American Studies major. 

The two met first via an email that Rebecca sent to Chandrika, introducing herself as her roommate. In the essay, Chandrika recalls, “We started talking via e-mail and I felt instantly comfortable, even though we had never even met or seen each other.”

About their first-ever meeting on campus, Chandrika wrote, “After a long day of orientation, I walked into my room and there were paintings hanging everywhere and both of the beds were made up perfectly. Becca, as I now call her, and her parents had reorganized the entire room and I felt like I was home. I don’t know if I could have gone through the transition of living in India to living in America and getting used to college without that girl being by my side the entire time.” The pair are now in their second year as roommates and plan to be together for the rest of their time at Muskingum. 

International Student Voice magazine is dedicated to advocacy for international students studying in the United States, as well as for U.S. students studying abroad.  Chandrika’s essay will be published in the magazine’s April edition.

IN THE PHOTO: Rebecca Angert (left) and Chandrika Misra.


LOCAL EDUCATORS HONOREDLocal educators honored for work at National Road Elementary

National Road Elementary School Principal Michelle Jordon (left) and Muskingum University Professor of Education Dr. Linda Rogness were recognized by the Ohio School Boards Association for the Outstanding Student Program of the Southeast Region The innovative program was a joint science adventure development by Muskingum and the National Road Elementary as part of the 21st Century Grant. Muskingum University students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate science education methods courses worked with National Road Elementary students on hands-on experiences such as “Matter Mysteries” and “Lego Mindstorms Robots.”




Professor F. J. Wehage elected officer of international foreign language honorary

FJ WEHAGEMuskingum University Professor of German Dr. Franz-Joseph Wehage was elected to a two-year term as first vice president of the executive board of Phi Sigma Iota, the international foreign language honor society.

Dr. Wehage joined the faculty at Muskingum in 1991.  He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the State University of New York – Albany. 

At Muskingum, Dr. Wehage received the William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2002 and 2012.  As part of his development of the German program at Muskingum, he created study abroad opportunities at both Deggendorf University and Passau University.  He has published several books, most recently Geschaftsdeutsch: An Introduction to German Business Culture, which he co-authored with Gudrun Clay.

During his tenure as advisor of the Phi Sigma Iota chapter at Muskingum, seven of Muskingum’s graduates have been awarded scholarships since 2005, including the Dr. Henry Ward Church Scholarship, the highest honor granted by Phi Sigma Iota.



Two students earn scholarships to attend Ohio Foreign Language Association conference

Two Muskingum University students earned scholarships to attend the Ohio Foreign Language Association’s (OFLA) annual conference in Columbus.

Brittany Jackson and Krysten O’Connell, both of whom were seniors, were nominated for the Conference Attendance Scholarship by the chair of Muskingum’s World Languages Department, Dr. Jean Morris, on the basis of their academic achievements and commitment to excellence in teaching.  They were chosen for the scholarships based in part on the strength of their essays explaining why they are choosing a career in World Languages.  Both students are Spanish licensure candidates. 

The conference, titled The Times, They Are a-Changin’:  Embrace the Changes, Reap the Benefits—Teachers Helping Teachers, allowed Jackson and O’Connell to network with both current and future World Languages teachers, as well as to attend multiple conference sessions.

Both Jackson and O’Connell graduated from Muskingum in May, 2014 with degrees in Spanish and their teaching licensure and both plan to teach Spanish.  Jackson’s faculty advisors were Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Sandra Alzate and Professor of Education Dr. Joy Cowdery.  O’Connell was advised by Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Beth Butler and Dr. Cowdery.

Debate team wins state championship at OFA novice tournament and students earn honors in individual events

The Muskingum University debate team won the state championship at the Ohio Forensics Association State Novice and Interstate Individual Events Tournament, held at Ohio University in Athens.

Muskingum’s debate team members are Beth Ford ’17 and Carter Brown ’16.  In addition, both earned honors as Individual Parliamentary Debate Speakers, with Brown earning first place and Ford earning third place. 

To see a complete list of individual and team honors, click here.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock. 


DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AWARDDepartment of Education receives national award

Muskingum University’s Department of Education was honored by the International Alliance For Invitational Education (IAIE) with the Paula Helen Stanley Fidelity Award.  The department was cited for“its invitational education’s philosophy, theory and practices” and for embracing an inclusive mindset for teachers and for encouraging understanding and tolerance for individual differences. 

Pictured are Ken Wright, IAIE Director of Student Exchanges; Barbara Hansen, Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning and Distinguished Professor of Education, Muskingum University; Vicki Wilson, Chair of the National IAIE Advisory Council; Sally Butzin, President of the IAIE Board of Trustees; Linda Rogness, Professor of Education, Muskingum University ; Rae White, Professor of Education and Director of Educator Preparation Unit, Muskingum University; Ed Gwazdauskus, Director of Inviting Schools Awards.


New bachelor's degree in petroleum geology announced

Muskingum University announced a new major in petroleum geology, adding to current majors in geology, environmental science, conservation science and earth science. Muskingum also offers minors in earth science and geology.

“Graduates of this new program will be needed to fill jobs within the growing oil and gas industry or in governmental agencies,” said Dr. Stephen R.Van Horn, associate professor of geology at Muskingum. Graduates might also choose to pursue a graduate degree, Dr. Van Horn explained.

The new major builds upon the strengths of Muskingum’s current geology department. Courses in Introduction to Well Logging, Sedimentary Petrology, Petroleum Geology and Subsurface Geology have been added to the existing curriculum to create this new academic offering.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment for geoscientists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. “The need for energy, environmental protection and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future,” according to the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Summer Fellow Megan Duke '14 published in mathematics journal

DAQUILA AND DUKEMegan Duke '14 had the research findings she produced as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program published in the highly regarded Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal.

As a senior mathematics major from Weirton, West Virginia, Duke published an article titled A Non-geometric Switch Toggling Problem.   Her research focused on when and how any system of switches can be transformed from one initial configuration to another configuration by always changing a fixed number of switches in any one step.  This is important research in the context of genetic toggle switches and how they can be used to predict the conditions necessary for gene bi-stability in gene-regulatory networks such as E-coli or feline leukemia. 

Duke conducted her research as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program, which allows selected students to work closely and intensively with the university’s faculty on specific areas of research.  That research project must be chosen for inclusion in the program by the university’s vice president of academic affairs and the university’s president.  Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila worked with Duke on the research and also serves as her faculty advisor. 

To be published in the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal, articles must be submitted to a panel of referees and then selected by the publication’s editor-in-chief.  The Journal is devoted entirely to papers written by undergraduates students on topics related to mathematics. Although the authors need not be undergraduates at the time of submission or publication, the work must have been completed before graduation. The publication is sponsored by the mathematics department at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

In addition, Duke was invited to present her findings at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) fall meeting, held at Cleveland State University.  The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists, statisticians and many others in academia, government, business and industry.  Duke’s presentation was one of only a few to be given by an undergraduate student. 

Duke graduated from Muskingum in May with a degree in mathematics and a teaching license.  She planned to teach mathematics and is also applying for a Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Fellowship grant that would allow her to both teach and attend graduate school. 

IN THE PHOTO: Dr. Richard Daquila and Megan Duke.

Women’s soccer team earns 2013 NSCAA Gold Award

The women's soccer team was one of only 26 teams in the country to be honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) with the prestigious NSCAA Ethics/Sportsmanship Gold Award for 2013. The Gold Award is regarded as one of the most difficult awards to earn from the NSCAA.

The Muskingum women were the only team from the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) to achieve the Gold Award, which encompasses all National Collegiate Athletic Association divisions, all National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics divisions and all National Junior College Athletic Association divisions.

Muskingum, under the guidance of Head Coach Mary Beth Caudill, who also serves as president of the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association, has been honored with either the Gold or Silver Award in 12 of the last 15 years.To be recognized with the Gold Award, a team cannot receive any Red Cards or Yellow Cards during the season.

The 2013 season was a memorable one for the team, as they set the school record for best start in program history, set the mark for longest unbeaten streak at home and notched their most wins since 2001.

Furthermore, Coach Caudill won her 100th career game at Marietta College on October 15 to become just the ninth women's soccer coach in OAC history to achieve that milestone.

Muskingum will receive the award at the annual NSCAA Convention on January 16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Omicron Delta Kappa gives back to the community

ODKThe Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) made a donation of more than $600 to the New Concord Food Pantry in an effort to give back to the community.

The chapter raised money by doing yard work in the New Concord area in exchange for donations, including raking leaves and other general cleanup projects.   More than 30 chapter members helped, along with 11 Muskingum faculty members, who worked together at a total of 11 homes. 

The food pantry, located at College Drive Presbyterian Church in New Concord, typically distributes 4,000 pounds of food per month to those in need. 

ODK is the national leadership honor society founded on the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility in college should be recognized, that representatives in all phases of college life should cooperate in worthwhile endeavors and that outstanding students, faculty and administration members should meet on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness.

Megan Duke '14 was the chapter president and the faculty advisor is Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Shelley Amstutz-Szalay. 

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are Lindsay Mullen, chapter vice president; Dr. Shelley Amstutz-Szalay, the chapter’s faculty advisor; Megan Duke, chapter president; Reverend Anne Weirich, pastor of the College Drive Presbyterian Church; and Karen Sidwell, chapter  treasurer.  

Student-broadcasters earn state and national honors

Muskingum University’s student-broadcasters earned both state and national recognition for their work on the university’s two stations, WMCO-90.7 FM radio and WMCO-TV, which operate under the banner of Orbit Media. 

Overall broadcast operations for both stations earned the “Ohio's Distinguished Student Organization” award, granted by the Ohio Communication Association (OCA). The award was presented at the OCA annual convention held recently in Marietta. Student-broadcasters accepting the award on behalf of the station were Joe Lemasters, Kaylee Lukacena, Kayla Rausch and Jessica White.  WMCO was nominated for the award by Muskingum alumnus Doug Switzer ’79, who was on the WMCO staff as a student.  He was motivated to make the nomination after he visited campus during WMCO’s 50th anniversary celebration and was impressed with what he saw.  He also was on hand in Marietta to present the award.

At the national level, Mark Danner and Luke Carmichael were finalists at the College Broadcasters, Incorporated (CBI) National Student Electronic Media Convention, held recently in San Antonio, Texas.  They were recognized for their work on a Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement in CBI’s National Student Production Awards.  The two were named finalists in a field of more than 700 submissions from 100 college and university broadcasting organizations.

Muskingum University’s Obit Media are advised by Professor of Communication Dr. Jeff Harman and Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa Marshall.  Mark Bohach serves as broadcast engineer. 

Muskingum well-represented at first Rural Education Forum

Muskingum University was well-represented at the first Rural Educational National Forum, held this fall in Columbus. The event was chaired by Dr. Barbara Hansen, Muskingum’s Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning, and Distinguished Professor of Education. Dr. Rae White, director of Muskingum’s Educator Preparation Unit and professor of education, presented at the event. Muskingum University students were also in attendance.

A highlight of the event was an address by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “In today’s world, rural schools must be more globally connected than ever before and prepare students for a rapidly changing economy at home. They will produce the next generation of leaders in rural America, who will sustain and possibly reinvent their local economies,” said Duncan.

The forum was the first rural-specific event co-hosted by the Ohio Department of Education and Battelle for Kids. The purpose was to bring leaders and practitioners together to advance conversations about rural education and long-term prosperity. In an effort to encourage regional attendance and leverage other successful rural work, the Ohio Department of Education and Battelle for Kids also partnered with the Kentucky and Tennessee Departments of Education to host this event.

To see coverage of the event from the Columbus Dispatch, click here.

Muskingum University signs agreement with Lanzhou University

LANZHOU AGREEMENTMuskingum University President Anne C. Steele (left) and  Lanzhou University President Professor Wang Cheng recently signed a “3+1” agreement with Lanzhou University, under which Chinese students will spent three years at Lanzhou and one year at Muskingum. 

Also on hand were Muskingum’s Director of International Admission and Immigration Services Operations, Coordinator of Study Abroad Program and the English Support Program Coordinator Meri Linn McCollum, Muskingum’s Vice President of Enrollment Jeff Zellers, Muskingum’s Special Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs Hong Yin, Lanzhou’s Director of the Office of Financial Affairs Ma Chunying, Lanzhou’s Director of the Office of Financial Affairs Prof. Xu Pengfei, Director of Lanzhou University’s Second Hospital Professor Li Yumin, Muskingum’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Janet Heeter-Bass, Director of Lanzhou’s International Office Professor Wang Yuhua, Muskingum Professor of Art Yan Sun and the Deputy Section Chief of Lanzhou’s International Office Teng Guofeng. 



Dr. Karen Dunak publishes new book on the history of weddings in postwar America

DUNAK BOOKAssistant Professor of History Dr. Karen Dunak has published a new book, As Long as We Both Shall Love: The White Wedding in Postwar America

Dr. Dunak’s book establishes that the evolution of the American white wedding emerges from our nation’s tendency towards privacy and the individual, as well as the increasingly egalitarian relationships between men and women in the decades following World War II.

Blending cultural analysis of film, fiction and advertising, as well as personal views expressed in letters, diaries, essays and oral histories, Dr. Dunak engages ways in which the modern wedding emblemizes a diverse and consumerist culture and aims to reveal a continuing debate about the power of peer culture, media and the marketplace in America.

Dr. Dunak joined the faculty in 2010.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at American University and both her master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University.  As a historian, she specializes in post-World War II United States history, with a particular interest in topics related to women and gender, youth culture, media and celebrity.

Published by New York University Press, the book is available form Amazon and from the publisher at 




The new Louis O. Palmer Gallery, dedicated on October 11, 2013 is the final keystone of Muskingum’s Studio Arts Complex. It is located between historic Paul Hall – home to the two-dimensional art program – and the Ruth and John Neptune Center – home to the three-dimensional art program.

The Palmer Gallery is a teaching gallery designed to showcase the work of Muskingum students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists.  It features a central gallery, auxiliary spaces to support events, and environmentally-friendly solar panels to help support its electricity consumption.

The Palmer Gallery was built through the generosity of Muskingum alumni and named in honor and memory of Louis Orton Palmer III (1915-1997), Muskingum Professor of Art from 1956-1981.


LOUIS O. PALMERProfessor Louis O. Palmer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Forest College, with a major in speech and a minor in romantic languages and English.  He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Chicago, and completed further studies in music at the American Academy in Fontainebleau, France, where his teachers included the noted composers Igor Stravinsky and Nadia Boulanger. 

During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army in North Africa and Italy as a band master and liaison to the French Army.  Prior to joining Muskingum, Professor Palmer taught at Lake Forest College and in Italy, and served as music critic for the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago broadcast station WFMT, and for the national music magazine Musical America.

A larger-than-life personality, he was known as Il Professore across campus and in town.  In the words of Ann G. Wilmoth ’67:  “the Caribinieri cape and Borsalino hat, the ring and the dog, he would live without not a one of them.” She noted that “in the years between 1956 and 1981 more Muskingum students were taught by Louis Palmer than by any other single professor, perhaps in all of Muskingum’s history.”

His charge, as recalled by Ms. Wilmoth – “Look up, look at the world around you; There is beauty everywhere; all you need do is look for it” –became an inspiration for his students and an enduring legacy of his teaching. For gallery hours and a complete schedule of events, click here.



Nick Gallagher and Rachel Cibulas named as Muskingum’s first lacrosse coaches

NICK GALLAGHERRACHEL CIBULASMuskingum University named Nick Gallagher and Rachel Cibulas as its first lacrosse head coaches. To read about Coach Gallagher, click here. To read about Coach Cibulas, click here.

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