IEEE Central Texas Section


Volume 52-03

March 2008

Newsletter of the Central Texas Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

Published monthly. Deadline for inclusion is the 25th day of the previous month. Send submissions, comments, questions to Kevin Nickels, Editor,


1. Section Activities

2. Chapter Activities

3. IEEE News & Information

4. Local Conferences


Your IEEE -
IEEE Conferences - Calls for Papers
IEEE Xplore - fulltext access to IEEE Publications
What's New at IEEE
Society News from IEEE
IEEE Standards Association
The Spectrum Online - The Magazine for Technology Insiders

1. Section Activities

Chairman's Column

As we roll into March, we can look with pride on some exciting activities in which IEEE has been engaged, or is putting on the books. Attention to E-week was significantly ramped up this month with our San Antonio team, thanks largely to the efforts of Dawnlee Roberson. Expect a continued increased participation in these activities in the future for the entire CTS.

Many chapters are back in full swing as the holiday break is now well behind us. In addition to chapter activities picking up the pace, we also are laying on plans for joint meetings with other professional organizations, as well as activities to improve connectivity with industry partners. Indeed Region 5 will be helping us organize our first San Antonio meeting with industry leaders to help highlight the value IEEE can bring to them in their business activities. And many seminars and conferences are in the planning stages now for action later this year. Lots going on.

Finally please help me thank Scott Atkinson for his long service as our PACE chair, and welcome our new PACE chair, Cheryl Tulkoff. She'll lead this extremely important program with Leslie Martinich and John Purvis as we work to grow our professional activities support within the CTS. Also welcome Steve Prough as our new Educational Activities chair. He has some great ideas about how this position can be used to help us bring some benefits directly to the members for such activities as continuing education and career development programs. Stand by... more to come.

And again, thanks to each of you for all you do for the profession.

Garrett Polhamus
Chairman, Central Texas Section

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Membership Development

Have you seen

In September of 2007, IEEE officially launched, an Internet-based television network that features programming on technology and engineering produced by and for IEEE members. features a variety of programming choices including hot topics in technology, conference highlights, and interviews with industry experts. is free with your IEEE membership. Since its official launch, has significantly expanded its program menu and offers both public- access and exclusive, members-only programming. Additionally, all programs are available for download to members with an active, IEEE web account. Log-in today at

Enjoy the show!

Joe Redfield
CTS Membership Development Chair

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Engineering in San Antonio - SA Vice-Chair's Column

E-week 2008 is now behind us. The questions I ask are: what went well and what can we do better next year? In talking to the Engineer for a Day organizer, we (electrical/computer engineers) had 2 companies that students could go to - CPS Energy and SAWS. I know I dropped this on you on very short notice this year, but think about participating next year! Austin's E-week is very oriented towards outreach - going to schools and the like, and SA's is very oriented towards the professionals - golf and clays. I'd like to move towards the outreach a little, and add an event of our own. Let me know what you think, and suggest ideas. Now is the optimal time to start thinking about it, because the planning will be starting again sooner than you think!

I know we're all busy - lots to do with family, friends, and work, but I want to ask you to contribute 1 day (8 hours) semi-annually to volunteering professionally - be that judging at a Science Fair, grading papers at MathCounts, or any of the other numerous pre-engineering activities going on in our communities. We had 100 high schoolers come on the UTSA campus last week for an Eweek activity, and these kids were full of questions about engineers and what we do. If we all volunteer 8 hours twice a year, we'll really be able to make a difference. Watch the Analog for volunteer opportunities, or I have plenty and can send them to you directly!

Enjoy Spring Break (thru your kids or thru reduced traffic) and be safe!

Dawn Roberson
Vice-Chair San Antonio

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Section & Chapter News


"Supersize" your IEEE Membership - Upgrade to Senior Member Status

If you have a baccalaureate degree in engineering and seven or more years of professional experience you are eligible to apply for upgrade to Senior Member Grade. Complete upgrade information, including requirements can be found at

If you meet the requirements but never seem to have the time to complete an application, we are planning the first Senior Member Event for 2008 in the Austin area toward the end of April. Senior members who have been through this process will be at the meeting to provide assistance in reviewing your application. We will have computers available to help you to finalize your application if needed. After the event, the Central Texas Section (CTS) will manage that the required references are written by CTS senior members. Light refreshments will be provided.

The specific location and date for this event have not been finalized. Watch your Email for further details.

For more information contact Joe Redfield at


Dr. Sherrie Gillespie of the American Association of University Women-Austin has been appointed to serve as a congressional science fellow on Sen. Joseph Lieberman's staff in Washington. Her fellowship, which began in January, aims to support legislation on public policy issues involving science and technology. Gillespie was also recently recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
(Reprinted from Feb 4 Austin American Statesman)

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Continuing Education


IEEE GOLD is sponsoring an online seminar scheduled for Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 6:00pm Eastern (New York) or 22:00:00 UTC for one hour. The online seminar will be offered at no cost to IEEE members with pre-registration required.  For more information and the link to register, go to

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Student Branches

St Mary's University- San Antonio (
Faculty Adviser: Djaffer Ibaroudene, Email:
Branch President: Damon Cardenas (email:

Trinity University - San Antonio
Faculty Adviser: Farzan Aminian, email:
Branch President: Jonathan Simpkins, email:

University of Texas at Austin (
Faculty Adviser: Sriram Vishwanath, email:
Branch chair: William Ward, email:

University of Texas at San Antonio (
Faculty Adviser: Yufang Jin, email:
Branch chair: John Collins,

Student Member News

Collegiate Inventors Competition Now Accepting Entries From Students

For 17 years, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized and encouraged undergraduate and graduate students on their quest to change the world around them. The Competition is one of the most prestigious honors available to college and university innovators. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2008 competition. The Collegiate Inventors Competition is designed to recognize and honor student innovators at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Since 1990, the Competition has honored numerous individuals and teams for their outstanding contributions and innovative work in solving engineering and scientific challenges. This year, over $75,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winning undergraduate and graduate students and advisors at a special awards ceremony in the fall.

The deadline for entering this year's Competition is 16 May 2008, and entries are judged on originality of the idea, process or technology, and their potential value and usefulness to society.

For more information, visit:


IEEEXtreme, a 24-hour online programming contest for IEEE student branches worldwide, will be held on 8 March 2008. The contest features teams of IEEE student members, supported by a Student Branch and advised by an IEEE Member, competing against each other to solve a set of programming problems within the time limit. The problems focus on the computer, programming and information technology fields. For more information, visit

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Calls for Volunteers

CTS TISP Implementation Kick-off on March 25th.

The first IEEE Teacher In-Service Program (TISP) for the Central Texas Section will be held in conjunction with the TEA Region 20 Service Center in San Antonio on Tuesday, March 25th from 8 am to 5 pm. We need your help! We are looking for IEEE members to volunteer to assist in the delivery of the seminar. To volunteer or to get more information, please contact Dean Schneider at 210-385-1008 or The CTS will support travel costs to assist in the seminar.

TISP is a volunteer program where IEEE members work with local schools and school districts to provide technology training to teachers in an in-service environment. IEEE, in partnership with IBM, has developed a large number of lesson plans (at - Check it out!) that IEEE members help teachers to implement in the classroom. More information on the TISP program can be found at The CTS is currently recruiting section members to become involved in the program. Training and financial support for TISP activities is available! Please contact Dean Schneider at for more information on how you can be involved in our children's future. Chapter chairs, please contact Dean Schneider if you would like to have a presentation on TiSP at your chapter meeting.

IEEE Mentoring Connection

The IEEE Mentoring Connection is looking for "online" mentors to help guide younger IEEE professionals in career planning and professional development. Currently, 989 mentees, but only 440 mentors have registered to participate. Mentor participation is open to all IEEE members above the grade of Student Member. Shortly, we will be inviting Graduate Student Members to join the program. These members have graduated with their first professional degree and are presently in a graduate program (Masters, MBA, PhD, etc.). We will need additional mentors in the program to handle the requests from this new group. We need you! Presently our mentors represent positions in academia including Associate Dean and Professor. Various Industry positions are represented by Director of Engineering, Senior Sales Engineer, Project Manager, Corporate Owner, Consultant, R&D Technical Manager, Licensing Manager, Division Manager - Control Systems, Electrical Engineer, Vice President Research, Director - Customer Operations, Computer Scientist - Branch Chief, Senior Product Development Engineer, Design Engineer - Power and Retired.

If you have received an invitation to join the program and been thinking about it, now is the time to join. If you have already signed in as a mentor - thank you for participating. Gary Hinkle, a mentor in the program, says "Helping young engineers develop in their careers is very rewarding. Working with some of these individuals has proven to be quite a challenge, because of the diversity among those seeking mentors. I'm glad to be contributing to this program."

The program enables the mentee to select their mentoring partner online from a list of individuals who have volunteered to serve as mentors. After mentors are identified as a potential match, they are contacted and asked to begin establishing a relationship.

Interested members can visit for information on the roles and responsibilities of each mentoring partner, including additional program information and an FAQ page. Potential mentors are asked to review the time and effort commitment to the program necessary to ensure a successful mentoring partnership. To enter the program website, please go to and use the IEEE Group ID "IEEE2006" to enter for the first time. Once in, you will need to set your own User ID and Password.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Downer, Regional Activities, at

Getting Excited About Robotics

San Antonio BEST is sponsoring a robotics program aimed at elementary and middle school students. GEAR, an abbreviation for Getting Excited About Robotics, provides elementary and middle school students with an opportunity to explore science and engineering through a robotics competition that utilizes team-supplied LEGO(R) Mindstorms(TM) kits.

Like BEST, the competition is free and a lot of fun! Teams will have close to 6 weeks (including Spring Break) to come up with an autonomous robot to play the GEAR game in a head-to-head competition against other teams. Details about the game are kept secret until kick-off.

Event details are listed below:
Event Kick-Off Competition
Date Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 Saturday, March 15, 2008
Time 2:30p-4:30p9:00a - 5:00p
LocationUTSA 1604 UTSA 1604
UC 2.01.28 - DENMANConvocation Center
With your assistance, more than 400 students in the San Antonio area will have the opportunity to participate in this event. Volunteers are needed on the day of the Competition (March 15) for the Referee, Technical Crew, Score keeper, Time Keeper/DJ, Judges, Staging, and registration

Lunch will be provided. To sign-up as a volunteer, contact Pam Colby at: 210.745.5822 or via email at: For more information, see

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2. Chapter Activities

Multiple Chapters

Sponsoring Organization SACCESS - San Antonio Council for the Cooperation of Engineering and Scientific Societies (IEEE CTS is a founding member of SACCESS)
Topic/Title Comparison of a Butterfly to a Dinosaur, Three-Mile Island Incident and the Chernobyl Disaster
Sponsored by CPS Energy
Date/Time Thursday, 13 March 2008, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost none
Reservations RSVP via Email to with your name & acronym of your society or organization
Location Pearl Stable, 312 Pearl Parkway
Notes It is an extremely rare opportunity to have, in the same city at this time, two outstanding individuals who can be heard and questioned about their personal experiences at Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl. Dr. John Simonis , an educator at the UTSA ME Department, will discuss his experiences as an engineer assigned to Three-Mile Island during the time of the incident. Dr. Efstathios Michaelides , who recently moved to San Antonio from Tulane University in New Orleans to become the Chairman of the UTSA ME Department, will discuss the background and results of his investigation of the dispersion of radionuclides in the environment following the Chernobyl accident. Mr. Michael Harris , from CPS Energy, will moderate the Question & Answer sessions after each presentation. At the outset, Mr. Mike Kotara , from CPS Energy (sponsor of the meeting), will make a presentation from their "Strategic Energy Plan."
Nametags Provided to Pre-Registrants, or prepared prior to meeting at check in
Guests Feel free to bring a guest, whether a SACCESS member or not

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Joint Circuits and Systems/Solid-State Circuits

Topic/Title A Review of ISSCC 2008
Speaker Matt Felder --- Analog, Michael Runas --- Digital, Lawrence Regan -- RF/Microwave
Date/Time Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 6:30PM
Cost none
Reservations not required
Location UT Campus - ACES 2.402 Auditorium

The joint Circuits & Systems/Solid State Circuits Societies meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. This meeting is open to the public and interested parties. Additional details will be posted at If you have any questions about this meeting or this group, please contact or

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Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology

Chair: Om P Mandhana, Freescale

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Computer Society - Austin

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Computer Society - San Antonio

Topic/TitleTechnical Meeting with the IEEE Computer Society
Date/TimeMonday, March 31, 2008
6:30 networking, 7:00 dinner, 8:00 program
Cost$10 IEEE Members, $13 Non-members, $0 students
ReservationsRSVP to Yu Zhang by Monday before meeting, (210) 999-7399
LocationConference Room B, University Center, St. Mary's University, San Antonio, TX
NotesSee for directions and parking information.
This meeting is open to the public.

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Consultants Network

Date/Time ??
(New regular meeting is on 2nd Thursday)
Networking at 6:00 pm, Business and program from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost $5.00 minimum charge for the restaurant. Supper is at optional extra cost.
Reservations Not required. All interested parties are invited to attend.
Location China Star Restaurant, 6134 Hwy 290 E, Austin TX. Westbound access road of 290E, just east of IH 35

Please bring a colleague to help us grow the Consultants Network attendance. The Consultants web directory is to be found at

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Electromagnetic Compatibility Society

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Electron Devices Society

Topic/Title Reliability Study of Split Gate Silicon Nanocrystal Flash EEPROM
Speaker Cheong Hong, Technology Solutions Organization, Freescale Semiconductor, Austin, Texas
Date/Time March 27, 2008 6:00-7:30PM
Refreshments 6:00-6:30PM
Reservations RSVP to
Location SEMATECH Room F-C - Map at
Abstract Silicon nanocrystal nonvolatile memories have been identified as one of the leading candidates to replace floating gate nonvolatile memories for embedded microcontrollers at 90nm node and beyond [1, 2]. Split gate nonvolatile memories [3, 4, 5] employing source side injection (SSI) have the advantages of low program current and large program window. Owing to the thin dielectrics used in these memories, one main concern is the long term reliability such as data retention and program disturb. Charge loss can occur from the nanocrystals through the top oxide or bottom oxide. Developing a good understanding on the path of charge loss is important for optimizing the reliability of split gate nanocrystal nonvolatile memories. In this talk we present a measurement based on biased data retention to determine the direction of charge loss. Top oxide and bottom oxide thickness can be optimized to meet long term reliability goal. A split gate nanocrystal nonvolatile memory with large program window, while demonstrating excellent data retention and program disturb characteristics is also presented.

See EDC web link for future meeting dates, past meeting presentations:

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Engineering in Medicine and Biology

Topic/Title A Biased View of the Origins of Engineering in Medicine and Biology (Electronics/Medical Physics/Medical Electronics/Biomedical/Facilities)
Speaker Dave Kilpatrick, PE
Date/Time 6:30 pm, March 12, 2008
Location Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building (BSE) 2.102, University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus, One UTSA Circle, Map available:
Agenda 6:30 - networking, 7:00 dinner, 8:00 Technical Presentation
Cost (dinner) $10 IEEE members, $15 non-members, students free!
Reservations Please email HaeOck Lee ( so we have a head count for dinner.
Meeting Synopsis "Biomedical Engineering" is one of unique academics, which is made up of vast diverse disciplines. David Kilpatrick, engineer, researcher, pioneer, and innovator will share his recollection of how the incredible congruence came to be. It will also be a humorous look at our past - something light (and fun) before the break.
Future Meetings Hold the dates: April 16, May 21

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Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD)

For more Information contact Jason Polendo

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Laser and Electro Optics Society

For more information, contact Ray Chen

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Life Members Affinity Group

For more information, contact Scott Atkinson

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Power Engineering Society - Austin

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Power Engineering Society - San Antonio

Topic/Title Power Factor Correction Capacitors for Industrial and Large Commercial Users
Speaker Ben Banerjee - (Square D/ Schneider Electric)
Date/Time Thursday, March 27 - 6:00 PM Social, 6:30 PM Dinner, 7:00 PM Program
Cost $10 members, $15 non-members, **FREE** for students (Cash only please, no checks or cards)
Reservations Please RSVP to John Brogan @ 210-353-3375 or
Location Grady's BBQ, 6510 San Pedro, San Antonio (210-806-8036)
Notes See website for more information.

As always you do not have to be an IEEE member to attend. For more information go to our web site at

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Product Safety Engineering Society

Topic/Title Regulatory Aspects of Wireless Technology
Speaker Jason Limoges - Dell
Date/Time March 18, 2008, 6:30pm
Cost none
Reservations Call Dale Ritzen (512) 651-5338 for details and directions.
Location Dell, Parmer Campus, Parmer South Building 4, Victoria Conference Room.

Upcoming Meetings - Mark your calanders

April 15, 2008 (Tax Day)
Topic: "Safety Liability Overview"
Speaker: Brian Falbo - Dell

May 20, 2008
Topic: "Medical and Home Care"
Speaker:Daniece Carpenter- Dell

June 17, 2008
Topic: "Batteries"
Speaker:Jim Seippel- Dell

We encourage you, others in your organization, or other interested parties to participate in our meetings. The PSES meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30, with the program starting at 7pm. For further information about the PSES, please contact Dale Ritzen at (512) 651-5338 or Gary Schrempp at

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Joint Signal Processing/Communications Society

Topic/Title Securing Data-in-Motion & Data-at-Rest
Speaker Jonathan Ellis, Advanced Communications Concepts, Inc
Date/Time Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 7pm
Cost Free; Sandwiches and soft drinks will be served
Reservations RSVP to Steve Crowl
Location TBD
Abstract Software defined radios are ready to impact the commercial mobile device market. However, two technology issues remain to be solved - the need to support multiple networks with one chip to conserve battery life & reduce space and the issue of multi-protocol network security. Technology that Advanced Communications Concepts (ACC) is developing is solving both issues using its dynamically reconfigurable computing with "protocol hopping" based security. That security extends to protecting both data-in-motion and data-at-rest as well as efficiently securing passwords, application keying information, and more. Hear about the vision for the emerging market for dynamically reconfigurable security devices and ACC's strategy for success in that market.
Speaker Bio Jonathan Ellis is founder of Advanced Communications Concepts, Inc., an Austin based start-up in the governmental security and storage market segments. He has conducted acquisition, cross marketing and strategic partnering arrangements to allow ACCI to become a "Strategic Supplier" to both the DoD and NSA/NRO intel communities for cutting edge Storage and multi-protocol communications & security technologies. Prior to founding ACCI, Mr. Ellis held executive positions at Dell, General Programming Systems (in Dallas), and Arrowsmith Technologies, and has been in senior technical or executive positions at six previous start-ups.

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Technology Management Council - Austin

Contact Leslie Martinich ( for more information about the Austin TMC.

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Technology Management Council - San Antonio

Topic/Title Intellectual Property
Speaker Court B. Allen, J.D
Date/Time March 27th, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location Room 2.02.04 in the Business Building at UTSA's 1604 Campus
Notes Dr. Allen is with Cox Smith and has additional degrees in Engineering Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering. He was awarded as a "Texas Rising Star" by Texas Monthly in 2005. A detailed bio can be found here

Contact Nils Smith ( for information about the San Antonio TMC.

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Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering has been an Affinity Group of the Central Texas Section since the Fall of 2002.

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3. IEEE News & Information

NASA Boosts Society's 50th Anniversary

Most IEEE societies celebrate a major anniversary with, say, a commemorative pin or a plaque and perhaps a special event. But with NASA's help, the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society took its 50th anniversary celebration to new heights. Find out what happened at

Access a Million App Notes Through IEEE Xplore

More than a million documents containing practical information on engineering topics are now available through the IEEE Xplore digital library. Read more about these application notes, written by companies to explain and promote their technologies and products, at

IEEE Spectrum Special Report: High-Tech Prosthetic Arms

Spectrum editors step inside the labs to examine how some of the most advanced human-machine interfaces used in prosthetic arms work. Read more and view the exclusive video at

Private Consultation With IEEE Financial Planner Available to Members Only

Recent market volatility has many investors nervous and concerned. Which direction will the markets take next? How do we take advantage of the down markets? Larry Grogan of Grogan Advisory Services, serving IEEE members' financial planning needs since 2006 through the IEEE Financial Services Program, is available for private consultation by IEEE members at +1 518 899 6090

IEEE-USA Unveils 2007 Online Annual Report Encapsulating Priorities Addressing Globalization

For an overview of IEEE-USA's 2007 activities in building careers and shaping public policy, see . In 2007, IEEE-USA President John W. Meredith and the IEEE-USA Board of Directors reaffirmed three broad priorities: promoting innovation through legislation and other means to ensure the competitiveness of U.S. industry in IEEE-USA's fields of interest; providing practicing engineers with tools and resources that support their career endeavors; and encouraging continuing education for sustainable careers, as well as focusing on precollege math and science education. The IEEE-USA 2007 Online Annual Report will also be available after 29 February to members without charge as an e-book at

Presidential Candidates Invited to 18 April Debate on Science and Technology, a non-partisan citizens initiative calling for a presidential debate on science and technology policy, announced that it has formally invited the U.S. presidential candidates to a debate on 18 April 2008 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, four days before the Pennsylvania Primary. The debate will provide a forum for candidates to share their views on the environment, health and medicine, and science and technology policy. The initiative is cosponsored by AAAS, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, and signed by over 100 leading American universities and other organizations - including IEEE-USA.

For more information, visit:

To read IEEE-USA President Russ Lefevre's quote, visit:

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4. Local Conferences

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