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Kennesaw State student project among three collegiate finalists for international online journalism award

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Five students produced story of a local mother’s struggle to recover from meth addiction  

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 26, 2014) — A multimedia story of a mother’s struggles to recover from methamphetamine addiction by a team of five Kennesaw State University student journalists is among the top three collegiate finalists in the 2014 Online Journalism Award competition.

The team’s story package placed in one of only two categories for student journalists — Student Projects, Large — in the competition, which honors excellence in data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service and technical innovation. The competition is sponsored by the Online News Association, the world’s largest association of online journalists. Winners in each of 33 award categories will be announced Sept. 27.

The students’ package, titled “Battling Meth: A Mother’s Road to Recovery,” is an in-depth profile documenting Georgia native Lindsay Curio’s struggles with motherhood and meth addiction. The story integrates text, video, audio and intimate photography. It was produced during the fall 2013 semester and distributed nationally in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) digital magazine, published by the Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ) at Kennesaw State University.

The student journalists — Shaddi Abusaid, Daniela Duron, Elizabeth Keener, Roger Newton and Lindsay Walker — produced the package while they were seniors in a capstone course in their Journalism and Citizen Media program in the Department of Communication. They all have since graduated with bachelor’s degrees in communication. 

"We are so excited that these students’ multimedia package was recognized as one of three finalists in this prestigious, international competition,” said Barbara Gainey, chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Communication. “It is especially gratifying that the students’ project was honored along with the very best content produced online by professional journalists.”

The package tells of Curio’s first drug usage, a rape she experienced, the loss of her first two children, her sister’s own struggles with meth, her recovery and the anguish her parents felt, while never giving up on her. The students spent their time in the field and in Curio’s own environment and produced a package designed for the text to move to the video and photographs and then back to the text seamlessly.

“In every sense, this is student journalism at its best,” said Leonard Witt, a distinguished professor and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism, who taught the capstone class. “This package reflects the strong foundational education in journalism and multimedia that our students have received. We’re all very proud of their accomplishment.”

Previous collegiate competition finalists have represented some of the nation’s leading journalism programs at such institutions as the University of California – Berkley Graduate School of Journalism, Boston University, University of Miami and University of North Carolina. The 2014 finalists in the student project-large category — produced with more than three students — also include the NYCity News Service at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and News21 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Department Chair Gainey added: “Journalism and Citizen Media is the newest undergraduate program within the Department of Communication, and we anticipate that this is just the first of many accolades that our student journalists will receive."

View more about the competition and see the finalists in all the categories here:


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, includingdoctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.

Kennesaw State president named one of Atlanta’s 55 “Most Admired” CEOs

Daniel S. Papp recognized as one of 5 top education CEOs by the Atlanta Business Chronicle
KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 22, 2014) — The Atlanta Business Chronicle today named Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp one of Atlanta’s 55 “Most Admired CEOs” at a breakfast at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Papp, along with the presidents of Georgia State University, Georgia Tech and Mercer University, and Jo Kirchner of Primrose Schools, were named winners in the education category.
In its inaugural event, the publication recognized executives who are established leaders with a strong record of innovation in their field, outstanding financial performance, a commitment to quality, a strong vision and a commitment to diversity.
Since taking the helm at Kennesaw State in 2006, Papp has implemented and overseen many significant milestones as the institution continues its rise in national prominence. The university now enrolls more than 24,600 students from 130 different countries and offers 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees.
KSU graduated its first doctoral student in 2010 and now offers doctorates in education, business, nursing and international conflict management. Last year, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents designated Kennesaw State as a “comprehensive university,” emphasizing the University’s increase in research, graduate programs and global engagement.
Many new facilities have also gone up under Papp’s watch, including the $50 million Prillaman Hall; a $20 million addition to the Bagwell College of Education, which graduates more teachers each year than any other University System of Georgia institution; and a $21 million facility dedicated entirely to scientific teaching and research. The Science Lab Addition contains high-tech biology and chemistry labs and solidifies KSU’s position as the largest producer of science and math teachers in the state.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of 24,600 from 130 countries.

Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth is expanding

Academy students with community partners

Program is piloting a third year, planning study abroad trip

The Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth at Kennesaw State University kicked off the new school year with a reception honoring campus and community partners, as well as some big news – a “junior year” for students.

“In social work, when we work with people with different abilities, it’s important to partner with different organizations in the community because each brings different  things to the table that allow people with different abilities to spread their wings and fly,” interim WellStar College of Health and Human Services Dean Monica Nandan said. “All of these partnerships help nurture the Academy to its fullest potential.”

Representatives with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, Kennesaw State’s Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Research were all on hand. Several Academy students and alumni were also at the reception.

“There are three other universities coming on board (with academies),” said Eric Jacobson, executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. “This is a dream that a lot of people have that is now coming true, and y’all were the leaders in that.”

Launched in 2009, the Academy offers a unique two-year certificate program designed to provide students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a college experience through the auditing of college-level courses, as well as courses designed to help them gain social, work and living skills, so they can find jobs they want and become more independent. It is one of 250 such programs nationwide, and the only one of its kind in Georgia.

“You learn about life on campus; you don’t learn about life at home,” said Gregory Schmieg, executive director of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. “We have one vision: that every Georgian live and work independently as they choose.”

Two new developments at the Academy were also announced during the reception: the Academy launched a pilot third-year program beginning this year; and the Academy has received a grant to travel with students overseas next year.

--By Jennifer Hafer

Kennesaw State kicks off “Year of the Arabian Peninsula”


Exhibit on Arab-Americans in service to the U.S. launches yearlong study    

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 20, 2014) — A newly installed exhibit titled “Patriots and Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to our Country” marks the beginning of the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” Kennesaw State University’s 31st annual study of a country or region of the world.

The multimedia exhibit, produced by the Arab American National Museum courtesy of the Alif Institute, features images, narratives and artifacts depicting the participation of Arab Americans in the U.S. armed services, diplomatic service and the Peace Corps. It is on display in the Atrium of Kennesaw State’s Social Sciences Building (#22), with an opening reception scheduled for Thursday, August 28, at 5 p.m.

 The exhibit is the first of a series of more than three dozen lectures and cultural events that will be featured at Kennesaw State throughout the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” a study of a region comprising seven countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 

“This year’s study of the Arabian Peninsula promises to be an exciting and enlightening learning opportunity, and it comes at a critical juncture when this region is playing such a pivotal role on the world stage,” said Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s chief international officer and executive director of the University’s Division of Global Affairs . “The ‘Patriots and Peacemakers’ exhibit sets the tone for what we hope will be an engaging study of a geographically expansive, culturally diverse and complex region, and of the relations its people have developed throughout the world.”

A full schedule of “Year of the Arabian Peninsula” events during the fall and spring semesters can be viewed at Highlights of upcoming fall 2014 events include:

·       9/20Year of Arabian Peninsula Day”featuring traditional music, dance and attire, henna hand-painting, Arabic calligraphy, regional folktales by the KSU Tellers and food tasting. University Place Amphitheatre, 2 p.m.

·       9/30-10/1Hijab for a Day, a participatory event, inviting women to learn the culture of the Islamic head covering, wear the hijab and share their experiences. Student Center, Leadership Room, #205, 12:30 p.m.

·       10/01-10/31“Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence: Oman's Message of Islam,” an exhibit from the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Social Sciences Atrium (Bldg. #22)

·       11/7 —“Women of Oman: Changing Roles & Transnational Influence,”an international conference, co-sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, Social Sciences (Bldg. #22), Room 1021, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In addition to these special events, Kennesaw State has invited scholars from across the country, as well as local and regional scholars, to deliver weekly lectures, which are open to the public.  An eight-member faculty learning community will be conducting research, planning study abroad programs and participating in faculty exchanges at partnering universities and institutions in Arabian Peninsula countries.

“A very dedicated group of Kennesaw State scholars and global partners have devoted more than two years to planning the ‘Year of the Arabian Peninsula,’ with outstanding results,” said Dan Paracka, the Division of Global Affairs’ director for academic initiatives. “The study of other countries and cultures provides a mirror of reflection for our own. It is our hope that a critical understanding of world history and American involvement in the Arab world will develop a more nuanced approach to solving compex global issues and challenges, and improve our ability to interact with this region more constructively, responsibly and appropriately.”

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.



Kennesaw State ranks in top five for “Best Colleges for Food in America” by The Daily Meal

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University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services earns accolade for third consecutive year

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 19, 2014) — Kennesaw State University was ranked fourth among the “75 Best Colleges for Food in America” by The Daily Meal, an online publication dedicated to culinary trends and news.  This is the third time that Kennesaw State has earned a spot in the ranking’s top 10.

The Daily Meal’s third annual ranking researched nearly 2,000 four-year colleges in America to create its 75 best colleges list for 2014.  Kennesaw State earned the No. 4 spot, behind Bowdoin College, Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. Two other Georgia institutions were included in the annual college food ranking: Emory University and the University of Georgia.

The Daily Meal used criteria such as nutrition and sustainability, accessibility and service, education and events, the surrounding area, and other special features that individual college dining facilities offer. These judging points focused on well-balanced healthy food, food preference accommodations, dining hall hours, proximity to on-campus living, and nutrition and culinary education.

“Let’s face it: college dining halls are not typically culinary havens. Thankfully, though, there are more than a few colleges across the United States that go above and beyond when it comes to their dining services,” wrote Sidney Harrison, a writer for The Daily Meal.

This recognition is the latest in a string of accolades for Kennesaw State’s Culinary and Hospitality Services, which received the National Restaurant Association’s Operator Innovation Award for Sustainability for its “Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm” program in 2013 and was a finalist in the health and nutrition category in 2014.  Last year, the University claimed the association’s top prize — Innovator of the Year — the first time an educational institution had been selected to receive the prestigious industry award, besting organizations including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the U.S. Air Force.

Kennesaw State’s Culinary and Hospitality Services provides meals to more than 30,000 guests weekly in its on-campus dining facility, The Commons. As part of its farm-to-campus initiative, The Commons offers global cuisine across nine venues with menus that change daily.

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Kennesaw State honors outstanding faculty and staff

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Recipients of KSU Foundation Distinguished Faculty Awards, staff awards honored at annual ceremonies

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 15, 2014) — The Kennesaw State University Foundation awarded more than $120,000 to outstanding faculty and staff across the university in an Aug. 14 ceremony.

The foundation distributed $104,000 in cash and awards for professional development to Kennesaw State professors who excelled this past year at teaching, research and/or creative activities and service at the 2014 Faculty Awards Ceremony. An additional $17,000 was awarded from the KSU Foundation for staff and administrator awards.

“Kennesaw State University is grateful to the KSU Foundation for the variety of recognition programs and professional development funding for faculty and staff,” said KSU Provost Ken Harmon. “The ovreall amount provided by the foundation exceeds that of any other university in the University System of Georgia.”

Harmon noted that the foundation also presented the Clendenin Scholars award earlier this summer, which will provide graduate tuition waivers plus $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, to two Kennesaw State students based on their pursuit of doctoral and master’s degrees.

The top faculty award, the $17,000 KSU Foundation Distinguished Professor Award, was given to Harrison Long, interim associate dean of the College of the Arts and associate professor of theater and performance studies, who was praised by his peers for his integrity and genuineness throughout his 20-year career.

“Our recipient is an award-winning professional, scholar, teacher and dedicated leader both on and off campus. Colleagues consistently note our recipient’s passion for all aspects of faculty life, specifically highlighting his all-around sterling reputation,” said Harmon.

Cheryl Matson, director of Admissions Operations in the Enrollment Services department, was recognized as the administrator of the year; Ana Sahasrabudhe, business operations professional in the Office of the Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was recognized as the staff employee of the year. Each was awarded $5,000.

Other faculty awards:

·      KSU Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award: Margaret Baldwin, senior lecturer of theater and performance studies, for her contributions to every aspect of teaching and her deep commitment to make a difference in the lives of her students. 

·      KSU Foundation Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award: Nikolaos Kidonakis, professor of physics, in recognition of his career as a prolific nationally and internationally recognized scholar in high energy physics who has written more than 100 articles and book chapters with more than 5,000 citations. 

·      KSU Foundation Distinguished Professional Service Award: Thomas Pusatari, professor of psychology, in recognition of his decade-long record of institutional service at the departmental, college and institutional levels as well as disciplinary service and leadership at the national level.

·      KSU Foundation Prize for Publications or Creative Activity:

o   Adam Kirkpatrick (College of the Arts), for his iphone app “Sing with the Best”

o   Divesh Sharma and Vineeta Sharma (Michael J. Coles College of Business), for their article “Do Former Audit Firm Partners on Audit Committees Procure Greater Non-Audit Services from the Auditor?” 

o   Katherine H. Ingram (WellStar College of Health and Human Services), for her article “Limitations in the Use of Indices Using Glucose and Insulin Levels to Predict Insulin Sensitivity: Impact of Race and Gender and Superiority of the Indices Derives from Oral Glucose Tolerance Test in African Americans.”

o   James Elledge (College of Humanities and Social Sciences), for his book “Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist”

o   Nikolaos Kidonakis (College of Science and Mathematics), for his article “Next-to-Next-to-Leading-Order Collinear and Soft Gluon Corrections for T-Channel Single Top Quark Production”

Other distinguished staff support awards:

o   Lois Leahy, academic division

o   Jennifer Coleman, administrative division

o   Serkan Ozsoy, campus division

Staff Senate scholarship awards:

o   Veronica Jones, Kaleigh Kendrick and Virginia Rogers


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KSU to become one of the largest public universities in the country

President Papp gives his annual Opening of the University address

Upon the expected completion of consolidation between Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University next year, the combined institution will be one of the 50th largest public universities in the country, with a combined economic impact of more than $1.2 billion.

“As most of you know, consolidation is an immense task,” said Kennesaw State President Dan Papp, during his 9th annual Opening of the University address Thursday. “When consolidation is completed next year, we will be a community of almost 40,000 people.”

Papp, who will also serve as president of the combined institution, said consolidation will boost the ranks of full-time faculty to 1,000 and full-time employees to 1,800. Total employment will swell to 6,000.

“We are no longer that small institution created in 1963,” he told the assembled crowd of faculty and staff.

Before consolidation can be completed, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents must approve the merger; SACS approval is expected in December, followed by the Regents approval in January.

“Full operational consolidation will take place in the summer of 2015,” Papp said. “As a result, millions of dollars will be redirected to instruction, educational support and research.”

Papp said consolidation also will solidify Kennesaw State’s comprehensive university status, which was garnered last year. According to the Regents, a comprehensive university is master’s-dominant, with an emphasis on basic and applied research. KSU today offers 54 bachelor’s, 31 master’s and 10 doctoral degree programs.

“Teaching will remain the core focus of the consolidated university,” he said. “We are doing exactly what the Regents expect of us, maintaining our emphasis on teaching, even as we expand our emphasis on research, development, service and external funding.”

Papp also used his opening of school address to highlight many accomplishments from the previous fiscal year, including:

*The opening of the Bernard Zuckerman Museum (“The Bernard Zuckerman Museum was the first art museum to open in the University System of Georgia in over 30 years and the first new museum in the Atlanta area in the last decade.”);

*The purchase of the 180,000-square-foot BrandsMart building and its accompanying 722 parking spots (“I hope that means we don’t have to open another parking deck any time soon.”);

*Sixty-one percent of student-athletes won All Academic Honors in the Atlantic Sun Conference, with a combined GPA of more than a 3.0 (“Indeed, academics and education are the real reason we’re all here.”); and

*Funding for external research and service has grown from $2.3 million in 2002 to $10.7 million in fiscal year 2013 (“By any measure this is impressive.”).

Looking to the future, Papp touted the openings of the new Bagwell College of Education addition next spring; the opening of the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center by summer 2015 and the expansion of the Sturgis Library in the fall.

To close, Papp quoted two of his favorite ‘70s hits from the rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

“For years, KSU and SPSU have been ‘Taking Care of Business,’ but believe me, ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!’”

--Jennifer Hafer

McCarthy receives American Psychological Association award

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Maureen McCarthy awarded Presidential Citation for contributions to teaching of psychology

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 14, 2014) —The American Psychological Association’s Division 2 – the Society for the Teaching of Psychology – has awarded a Presidential Citation to Maureen McCarthy, faculty executive assistant to Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp and professor of psychology.

In presenting the award at the APA’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last week, the division’s president cited McCarthy’s “substantial contributions to teachers of psychology everywhere."

"The Presidential Citation is the highest award possible to receive within our division," said Eric Landrum, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s 2014 president and professor of psychology at Boise State University.  "A maximum of two such awards are presented each year, and I am pleased to report that from over 4,000 individuals who were considered for this award, Dr. McCarthy was selected to receive this distinguished and well-deserved honor. Her contributions should be celebrated widely.”

McCarthy regularly conducts program reviews as a member of the APA’s education directorate and previously served as president of the STP.  She is a member of the organization’s Division 35, which is the Society for the Psychology of Women, and its Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics Division 5. She also is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and serves as a member of the Advanced Placement Psychology Test Development Committee and the Social Studies Academic Advisory Committee for the College Board.

“I am just one of the many members of the society committed to teaching, so receiving this citation is truly an honor,” McCarthy said. “I am deeply grateful and humbled to receive the Presidential Citation from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology."

As psychology professor, McCarthy has taught introductory psychology, as well as courses in research methods, experimental psychology, ethics and professional issues in applied psychology, principles of psychological testing, and the senior seminar. In 2012, Kennesaw State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences named her “Distinguished Professor.”

McCarthy conducts research in the areas of pedagogy, assessment of student learning, and program evaluation and is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including “Quality Benchmarks in Undergraduate Psychology Programs” in American Psychologist. Jossey-Bass publishers recently released an extension of that work – “Using Quality Benchmarks for Assessing and Developing Undergraduate Programs.” The volume offers a comprehensive approach to program assessment and evaluation to help programs and departments in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences use assessment data to improve undergraduate education.


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.

CarMax Auto Finance funds data analytics scholarships at Kennesaw State

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Gift targets undergrad and graduate students of applied statistics and data analysis

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 6, 2014) — CarMax Auto Finance has established a two-year scholarship fund for Kennesaw State University students in the increasingly critical fields of data analytics and applied statistics.

The CarMax Auto Finance Analytics Scholarship fund − $50,000 over two years – will provide merit-based scholarships for 12 students enrolled in Kennesaw State’s Master of Applied Statistics program or those seeking an undergraduate minor in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis. The scholarships will be awarded beginning spring 2015.

 “Advanced analytics is a field that permeates all aspects of our everyday life,” said Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, which houses the graduate and undergraduate analytics programs. “In the connected world that we live in, data is everywhere. Effectively using that data to make our lives better is the goal of analytics. We are excited to have CarMax Auto Finance as a partner in educating our students and opening pathways to opportunities in this critical field for them.”

Kennesaw State currently has 80 graduate students in the Master of Applied Statistics program and 200 undergraduate students minoring in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis. Undergraduates with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and graduate students with a 3.5 minimum GPA are eligible for the scholarships, which can be used for tuition, fees, room and board and other related academic expenses.

“The explosive expansion of computing power has unlocked tremendous data available to business and society,” said Angie Chattin, President of CarMax Auto Finance. “Turning the data into actionable strategies that improve the world in which we live takes talent. We are excited to join Kennesaw State University in supporting students who are applying their talent specifically to the field of data analytics and applied statistics, and look forward to their future contributions.”

The CarMax Auto Finance Scholarship fund also will support a series of “Lunch and Learn” sessions open to all Kennesaw State students and faculty beginning this fall. Starting Sept. 10, CarMax Auto Finance leadership will use these sessions to discuss the company’s use of advanced analytics that have helped more than 2 million customers with vehicle financing needs. These sessions are designed for students in an array of majors – business, finance, accounting, and mathematics – and will allow them to learn about the wide variety of career opportunities with CarMax.


CarMax Auto Finance is located in Kennesaw, Ga., and serves more than 500,000 customers, with a portfolio size of more than $7 billion. Last year, CarMax Auto Finance helped more than 200,000 customers purchase vehicles through CarMax. CarMax has been one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 10 consecutive years.

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.

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