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63rd annual conference EBACA.jpeg

October 21 - 22, 2022


This is a hybrid event. For those who wish to attend in person, the location is the Athens Greece Hellenic American University, Athens, Greece. For those who wish to attend virtually, please see below for more information.

63rd Hybrid Annual Conference

Moving Through Together: Addressing a
Changing World

- Conference Schedule - 

- Day 1, Oct. 21 -

8 AM 


Welcome, registration, and networking


Session 1 + Recorded for Home Learning


9 - 10:30 AM 

Presentation 1 (Room)

Multicultural Competencies & the ACA Code of Ethics...What does it really say?

Perry C Francis, Ed.D., LPC


The ACA 2014 Code of Ethics holds as a professional value to honor diversity. Using the Multicultural & Social Justice Counseling Competencies we explore how this value is embedded in the code of ethics and why it matters.


Presentation 2 (Room)

Moving Together: Utilizing Gatekeeping and Psychological safety in Counselor Education and Supervision. 

John J. S. Harrichand, Ph.D. LPC-S, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, ACS & Patricia L. Kimball, Ph.D., LPC-S

Counselor Educators and Supervisors are charged with providing training to counselors-in-training. This charge includes gatekeeping, a complex and challenging requirement, which should occur within the intentional bounds of psychological safety. This presentation will review recent findings and implications from our qualitative research centered on the process of balancing gatekeeping and psychological safety based on the experiences of early career counselor educators.


Presentation 3 (Room)

Best Practices in School Mental Health Interventions: Lessons from a State-Wide Effort to Affect Positive Change in Schools.

Gerta Bardhoshi, Ph.D., NCC, CSC, LPC, LMHC, ACS & Allison Bruhn, Ph.D


This session will provide an overview of best practices in school mental health interventions, addressing the significant need for effective delivery approaches that integrate social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health services into schools. The presenters will discuss a state-wide effort to create a Center for School Mental Health, activating interdisciplinary collaboration, community input and involvement, and interventions, practices, and tools that result in measurable positive change. Presenters will discuss a systemic intervention approach that involves a) high-quality professional development for relevant stakeholders, (b) research to establish evidence-based practices, and (c) clinical assessment and intervention services.

10:30 - 10:50 AM 



Session 2 + Recorded for Home Learning


11 AM - 12:30 PM 

Presentation 1 (Room)

Unlocking Collective Grief: A key to alternative interventions in a changing world

Marisol Garza, M.S., LPC, NCC & Kristopher K. Garza, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world resulting in death, loss, and bereavement. Effects of loss and grief are surging through families, communities, and nations globally (Maddrell, 2020). Some have experienced grief that comes with the loss of those who have died due to the COVID-19 crisis and has interrupted grieving rituals and other related practices (Lowe et al., 2020). Grief can be produced by other forms of loss that are not limited to a death of a loved one (Petry et al., 2020). Job loss in the wake of a pandemic, graduations and weddings being canceled, and the grief that comes with feeling completely separated from our communities as we self-isolate to protect one another has led the world to believe there is no end in sight. The educational content will focus on the unique challenges of collective grief, and how to educate ways to foster adaptation to tangible and intangible losses. The participants will also gain knowledge on various resources, the use of alternative interventions, along with the opportunity to partake in shared experiences as it related to the pandemic.


Presentation 2 (Room)

Teen anxiety: How the pandemic changed perceptions of work.

Arden Szepe, PhD, NCC & LeAnn M. Morgan, PhD, LPC, BC-TMH


School counselors around the world are faced with challenges in meeting the career development needs of secondary students in the wake of the pandemic, civil/cultural unrest, and economic uncertainty. The presenters will share results from an international qualitative study of teens who entered the workforce during the pandemic and the role anxiety played in their decision-making as they navigated first job experiences and prepared for postsecondary opportunities. ASCA standards-based lesson plans for addressing students’ complex needs will be explored.


Presentation 3 (Room)

A Systematic Review of Religious Trauma and Sexual Abuse: What Are We Missing?

Jaycie Wildermuth B.S. & Rachael Marshall, PhD


The W.H.O. (2021) recognizes sexual abuse as an epidemic worldwide. Sexual trauma can be impacted by religion to complicate healing. Although there is emerging evidence of sexual and religious abuse co-existing from clinician’s blogs, autoethnographies, and program-guides, there is little empirical research exploring the impact on clients and less still on ethical practice. There is an urgent need for further research to explore clinical interventions and best practices for sexual and religious abuse.

10:30 - 10:50 AM 



Session 3 + Recorded for Home Learning


11 - 11:15 AM 

President's Address Presentation 1

Presented by Dr. Jill Van Horne.


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM 

Keynote Title: Training for Trauma Counseling in the Context of War:  Ukraine’s Call for Mental Health Providers

Keynote Speakers: Drs. Joshua Kreimeyer and Carol M. Smith


Abstract: Presentation provides context of doing therapeutic work in a country under current military invasion.  Aspects include practical steps for setting up a retreat model of care, the specific and current needs of Ukraine, lessons learned in the ongoing program and its expansion in Ukraine, and coordination with the International Association for Resilience and Trauma Counseling (IARTC).  Guidance for how to help will be provided.  Included will be discussion of next steps and how the European Branch of ACA can help IARTC support the needs of the Ukrainian people through this or a similar program. 


Objective 1: Describe the cultural constructs and ethics of a retreat model for training mental health care providers in the context of ongoing war.

Objective 2:  Name at least two practical and cultural considerations for coordinating a retreat for mental health care providers on trauma-competent counseling.

Objective 3:  Name at least two Ukrainian cultural values related to trauma and resilience in the context of war.

12:15 - 1:25 PM



Session 4 + Recorded for Home Learning


1:30 - 2:35 PM 

Presentation 1 (Room)

Counseling Emerging Adults: Practical Implications for Cultural Identities and Life Satisfaction.

Matthew L. Nice, Ph.D. 


This session will present the practical implications from findings of a survey study of 444 emerging adults (ages 18–29) investigating how their cultural identity salience and their satisfaction with life promote positive development in emerging adulthood. A specific focus on differences between college-going and non-college-going emerging adults and those still living in their parental home versus independently. The findings of the study have practical implications for how counselors might best support emerging adults.


Presentation 2 (Room)

Addressing Co-occurring Career and Mental Health Concerns in a Time of Uncertainty.

Seth C.W. Hayden, Ph.D., LCMHC (NC)


The pandemic and other societal concerns have highlighted the connection between career and mental health. Given the complexity of the relationship between career development and mental health, counselors are ideally positioned to address co-occurring concerns. This presentation will contain information on career theories and associated interventions that incorporate elements of mental health. Relevant research and resources will be provided.


Presentation 3 (Room)

Deception Signals - How to Understand yourself through others.

Arthur Antonopoulos, BA, MA, MSPsy


Deception has taken on a new look in the digital age. Video communication has taken precedence over all other forms of communication and is dominating the way our messages are being conveyed. Deciphering these non-verbal communicative techniques provides insight into how these messages are not always genuine and how we can be better prepared to filter them.

2:35 - 2:50 PM 



Session 5 + Recorded for Home Learning


3 - 4:30 PM 

Presentation 1 (Room)

Supporting Military Spouses' Mental Health: Enhancing Agency through Counseling Interventions.

Seth C.W. Hayden, Ph.D., LCMHC (NC)


Military spouses have a unique experience of frequently transitioning both in and out of the context of the military. It is important counselors understand the nature of their experience as it relates to their military-affiliated status to better understand how to effectively support them. This session will provide information on research related to their mental health and interventions designed to enhance agency and mental well-being. Relevant resources will be provided.


Presentation 2 (Room)

Diagnosis Disparities in the African Diaspora: Implications for Counseling Practice an UPDATE

​​Dr. Jahaan Abdullah & Dr. Sonia Alexis


Research demonstrates disproportionate diagnoses of psychiatric disorders and mental health diagnoses for African American people. African Americans are 3-to-4 times more likely to receive a psychotic disorder diagnosis than Caucasian Americans (Schwartz & Blankenship, 2014). Presenters will discuss disparities in diagnosis for African American people and paucities in research for the European African diaspora. Presenters will discuss data associated with this research, trauma associated with more stigmatizing diagnoses, and paucities in counseling research regarding this phenomenon.


Presentation 3 (Room)

The global call for intensification of trauma-informed graduate education.

Steve F. Bain, D.Min., LPC-S, NCC & Kristopher K. Garza, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC


The plethora of mass shootings/killings on a global scale have brought entire countries to the verge of desperation in dealing with, not just with how to prevent these tragedies, but how to equip professionals who work with populations impacted by such horrific trauma. This presentation will provide rationale and practical advice on how universities can develop trauma-informed educational/clinical training and professional development to equip today’s mental health professionals, particularly in university graduate programs.

4:45 - 5 PM 



5:15 - 6:15 PM 

EB-ACA Board Meeting, Leadership Introductions

- Day 2, Oct. 22 -


Not Recorded


9 - 10:30 AM 

Poster 1: Study Abroad Cross Cultural Mindfulness: Working with Students in Higher Education to Understand and Value Cross Cultural Experiences with Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices.

Michele Kielty, PhD, Tammy Gilligan, PhD,  & A. Renee Staton, Ph.D.


Evidence for and best practices related to cross-cultural mindfulness will be reviewed. Study abroad experiential experiences, as well as results from a study of the students who engaged in a cross-cultural mindfulness course, will be shared.


Poster 2: Adopting a Global Multicultural Social Justice and Advocacy Perspective.

Sade Smith, Ph.D, LPC, NCC & Danna Demezier, PhD, LMHC, NCC


The need for a multicultural social justice and advocacy framework from a global perspective is critical considering today’s diverse cultural influences counselors' encounter. This presentation offers the main constructs of the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies framework to increase social justice and advocacy amongst globally diverse students in American counseling programs. The presenters will provide concrete examples of barriers to social justice and advocacy and ways to bridge the gap from theory to practice.


Poster 3:  ILP: Connecting 4 Critical Life Tasks to the Modern World.

Tyler Michael Geike B.A., Master’s Student Career Counseling; Chun Ming Yan B.A., Master’s Student Career Counseling; Juan Pablo Becerra B.A., Master’s Student Career Counseling


Although career and mental health counseling were traditionally separated, our changing world urges counselors to provide more holistic support. How can we transition from the 1970-80s separation of career counseling into more comprehensive approaches? Research shows that career and mental health have numerous overlaps. The integration of Hansen’s Integrative Life Planning and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy can guide us in navigating our changing world, expanding efficacy to diverse populations, and incorporating careers into our lives holistically.


Poster 4: When Counseling Meets Nursing: Incorporating Animal Assisted Therapy with Veterans.

Ashley Jackson, MA, NCC, LPC


With the rise of publicity surrounding veterans and mental health, society often forgets the physical ailments that often plague them as well. Studies show that physical health plays a role in an individual's mental health as well as their overall wellbeing. Notably, research indicates that the incorporation of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) can help veterans' health both physically and mentally. Healthcare workers, counselor educators, and counselors can work together to show the benefits of AAI.


Poster 5: When Values Collide: Navigating Religious Value Conflicts in Counseling.

Tamika Jackson, MBA, M.Div, MA & Zaria Hardy


The ACA Code of Ethics advises against imposing personal values onto clients, including religious beliefs. How, then, do we respond when our religious values conflict with those of clients? Considering what some believe to be a global decline of religion, it is likely that we will encounter clients with different spiritual/religious beliefs. This presentation will explore religious value conflicts, examine the practice of ethical bracketing, and address issues that might surface when navigating these conflicts.


Poster 6: Mental Resilience as Protective Factor to Psychiatric Disorders during the Military Service.

Katerina Aranitou - Graduate Student in Psychology & Dr. Anna Nikolaou - Sociologist


A changing world is constantly stressful, and is getting more so as the pace of technological change continues to increase. Many of people appear to respond with remarkable resilience even to severe or traumatic stress. What accounts for such resilience? If the factors or pathways that lead to human resilience under stress were better understood, perhaps these resiliency factors could be amplified in those who are low in resilience, and more vulnerable to psychiatric disorders.


Not recorded, 8 tables


10:45 - 11:35 AM 

First 45 min session 

Table 1: Supportive School Counseling Services in Rural Schools.

A. Renee Staton, Ph.D., LPC, Michele Kielty, PhD, LPC, & Dr. Tammy Gilligan


The nature and cultures of rural communities vary widely, but they often share concerns related to poverty, limited access to resources, and potential obstacles to educational attainment after compulsory education. Professional school counselors can play a key role in positively influencing school culture and providing informed support for students and families. This session provides an overview of effective practice and includes questions and recommendations for making positive, systemic change.


Table 2: Supporting students with behavioral addictions: A guide for school counselors.

Brandee Appling, PhD, LPC, CPCS, ACS & Amanda Giordano, PhD, LPC


In this presentation, attendees will learn how to recognize and respond to a number of potentially addictive behaviors that often begin in adolescence including pornography use, internet gaming, social media use, and nonsuicidal self-injury. Additionally, participants will deepen their understanding of the neuroscience of addiction, the importance of early intervention, and recent research results to inform effective responses to addictive behaviors in K-12 school settings.


Table 3: Adventuring Together: Group Cohesion and Personal Healing through Adventure Therapy and Ecotherapy.

Charles E. Myers, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S, CCPT-S, CATP


Our world is struggling. World and local events have disengaged us, resulting in a downward spiral in which we become lost and disillusioned. The path to healing involves reintegration of nature, others, and self. Adventure/Ecotherapy provides means for reengaging disconnected individuals, responding to their unique needs, and opening the door for healing and reconnection. Workshop includes introduction to Adventure/Ecotherapy, qualitative reports of participant experiences, and experiential activities that can be implement immediately into your practice.

Table 4: Trauma Bonded: A New Approach to Working with Complex Trauma in Relationships.

Laura Anne Copley, PhD, LPC


There is a harsh stigma around trauma bonds, often labeling them all as abusive and destined for failure. But what if at the core of most trauma bonded relationships is a collision of two opposing attachment traumas that cause this recurring painful dynamic? Dr. Copley provides a roadmap on how to unravel the interplay between these attachment traumas and presents a new approach to healing the toxic patterns that come from being trauma bonded.


Table 5: Discriminating with a Wet Nose: Using Animal Assisted Supervision.

Ashley Jackson, MA, NCC, LPC


Notably, evidence suggests the efficacy of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling (AAT-C) in fostering growth and development in counseling may also transfer into supervision. Animal Assisted Supervision (AAS) may strengthen the working alliance in ways traditional supervision relationships lack. AAS, in combination with the discrimination model of supervision, could enhance counselor development through the facilitation of conversation, creating a stronger alliance, and increasing self-awareness.


Table 6: Polyvagal-informed Reconsolidation in the Sandtray: Navigating Trauma in our changing World.

Dr. Sharon Thompson, PhD, LMHC, NCC, RPTS, Denise Hudson, MA, IAST, EMDRIA, Thalia Suarez, BS, EMDRIA


In this hands-on program, participants will learn 3 trauma-informed techniques rooted in polyvagal theory that will assist clients to create new response patterns while experiencing co-regulation and connecting to the ventral vagal state. They will walk away with immediately useable sand tray techniques to address trauma across cultural boundaries and will learn to select useful and inexpensive miniatures to address complex trauma in multiple cultures and environments.

Table 7: Analyzing Whiteness discourse during racial discussions between family therapy trainees and clients.

Philippa Chin, M.Ed., LPC, LMFT, NCC & Kaitlin Hinchey, PhD., LPC, LMFT, NCC


Presenters will review how critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to examine broaching conversations between counselors in training and family clients to understand how Whiteness dominates discourse in family counseling environments. The discovered themes will be presented within the context of counselor education teaching and training approaches. The capacity of educational institutions and their actors to influence or alter discursive practices is enormous and this study examines how Whiteness discourse is embedded, as well as negotiated in family


Table 8: Use of Bibliotherapy to Reduce Anxiety in Students.

Laurie Dickstein-Fischer, PhD, LMHC, NCC & Kristina Scott, Ed. D.


Schools are seeing an increase in student anxiety, with anxiety identified as the most prevalent mental health disorder in children. Anxiety poses a growing challenge in schools as school-based professionals look for strategies to assist students with their anxiety. Using bibliotherapy can help all students recognize and understand their own emotions and thoughts in a non-threatening manner. Through reading about a fictional character’s experience with anxiety, students can learn how to successfully navigate their own struggles.

11:45 AM -12:40 PM 

Second 45 min session 

Table 1: A Whole School Approach to School Counseling: Modifications During/After the Global Pandemic in the US and Japan.

Carol Dahir Ed.D. & Ayako Ito Ph.D.


Now more than ever before, Pk-12 students need counseling support. This session will focus on how school counselors in Tokyo and New York City modified their school counseling programs during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and the adjustments that continue as students returned to face-to-face schooling. This session will also highlight new initiatives as counselors in both nations recognize the need for whole school support, ongoing mental health and trauma-informed practices, and SEL for all students.


Table 2: Clinical Considerations for Work With Transracial Adoptees and Adoptive Parents. 

Amanda Giordano, PhD, LPC & Brandee Appling, PhD, NCC, LPC, ACS, CPCS


Roughly 45% of adoptions are transracial (the race of the adopted child differs from that of the adoptive parents). Transracial adoptees and their adoptive parent(s) experience unique circumstances that may bring them to counseling. Counselors should be equipped to help transracial adoptees and their parent(s) navigate racial identity development, racial socialization, and multicultural family planning. This presentation is designed to describe the experiences of transracial adoptees and parents(s) and prepare clinicians to provide effective services. Discriminating with a Wet Nose: Using Animal Assisted Supervision.


Table 3: Staying Current with the Times: Adopting a Global Perspective in Counselor Training.

Dr. Danna Demezier, PhD, LMHC, NCC & Dr. Sade Smith, PhD, LPC, NCC


As the world changes, programs in higher education are observed to evolve and change. Counselor education programs are increasingly offered in distance learning formats and these programs recruit both domestic and international students who reside abroad. To remain current with the times, counselor educators must adapt their pedagogical practice to infuse a global perspective of mental health due to the internationalization of counseling programs. This presentation reviews strategies to remain current with the times.

Table 4: The importance of university programs supporting mental health in public schools.

Maria E. Martinez, Ph.D. & Steve F. Bain, D.Min., LPC-S, NCC


Growth mindset-based practices facilitate individualized, holistic support to enable overall cognitive growth impact and academic achievement (Yeager, Hanselman, Walton, et al., 2019; Ng, 2018) and serve as a valuable tool for today’s counselors. This presentation will discuss how growth mindset-based practice is incorporated in supporting the mental health of PK-12 students through university-based programs. This framework provides disadvantaged youth with programing centered on building agency and motivation as determined “through self-reinforcing cycles of motivation and learning-oriented behavior” that ultimately leads to “sustained academic improvement” (Yeager, Hanselman, Walton, et al., pg. 364, 2019). The presenters will provide rationale for short growth mindset interventions which can be facilitated by mentors during tutoring sessions in public schools. Program evaluations are goal-based to achieve objectives resulting in the measurement of student persistence, GPA improvement, increased class rigor, high school completion and college enrollment. Attention will be given to how college coach/mentors from various disciplines serve as role models for participants. By combining frequent, intensive and relevant check-ins by peer mentors, students learn to develop self-advocacy skills. These practical applications can serve mental health practitioners in conjunction with university partnerships to support school-age populations on an international scale. 


Table 5: Healing the Inner Child: Adult Healing of Childhood Grief and Trauma.

Charles E. Myers, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S, CCPT-S, CATP


Traumatic grief significantly impacts a child’s sense of hope, safety, and trust. Non-treated children can develop deep-rooted victimized identities. Sandtray offers a means of reintegration self and connection to others. Our brains store traumatic loss emotionally and physically, rather than cognitively. The kinesthetic and creative nature of sandtray connects to our emotions and physiology, providing a non-threatening environment that embodies healing and reconnection to others. The presentation includes sandtray application in grief and trauma and case studies.


Table 6: Utilizing M-CBT and Creative Arts in Counselling College Students: insights and case studies.

Maria Agorastou, LMSW, PhD & Alessandra Sax, LMSW, EdD


The session will explore the impact and effectiveness of embodied practices such as the creative arts and mindfulness in treating trauma in college students receiving CBT services through a University Counselling Center. The presentation will explore the therapeutic aspects of the above interventions through the analysis of three case studies that have received services in the past 6 months. Implications for future research and practice will also be presented. 


Table 7: Risk Management and Resilience in Counseling.

Dr. Lotes Nelson, LCMHC-S, ACS, NCC


To move together to address a changing world is to recognize the landscape of today’s society, the mental health needs, and the condition and roles of mental health counselors. With global events affecting citizens domestically and internationally, there are more reasons to emphasize the welfare of clients and counselors, and the necessity to build resiliency. This session will discuss risk management surrounding potential counselor impairment and resilience building to remain effective in their professional work.

Table 8: Career Decision and Engagement: Understanding the Impact of Current Events.

Arden Szepe, PhD, NCC & LeAnn M. Morgan, PhD, LPC, BC-TMH


Career decision-making and engagement is heavily influenced by current events and environment. This presentation will address recent current events and the impact of those events on career decision-making, planning, and engagement. Exploration of the impact of trauma on career development will be addressed to include support and approaches that counselors can take with clients to better assist career exploration.

12:40 -1:25 PM



Competition + Recorded for Home Learning


1:30 - 2:30 PM 

Presentation 1: Narrative Theory & ACT in College - Stories to tell & Actions to take.

Ming Yan, B.A., Master’s Counseling Student Career Counseling; Aurora Villanueva B.A., Master’s Counseling Student Career Counseling; Rachael Marshall PhD


We will be depicting the power of storytelling through Narrative Theory with practices of ACT in supporting first-generation college students (FGCS). FGCS has additional challenges and disadvantages in attaining education, which has been amplified by COVID. ACT increases one’s psychological flexibility but is highly structured, while Narrative Theory honors the client’s uniqueness. This integration leads to a more holistic approach to understanding FGCS, advocating for their needs to reach equity, and promoting unity within the community.


Presentation 2: Moving through the Modern Digital Relational World Together: Advocating for the Treatment of Attachment Wounds from Narcissism and Virtual Parenting.

Alyssa Gavulic Howk, PhD, LMHC-S, LMFT-S & Deanna Eddy, LMHC-S, LPC


Attachment styles due to early relational traumas will be linked to personality disorders, the use of electronic mediums, and the relational patterns/dynamics emanating from them. In vivo and virtual cycles of abuse/neglect will be contrasted with healthy relational interactions to help individuals delineate functional and dysfunctional ways of relating in vivo and electronically. Treatment modalities for healing attachment wounds acquired through in vivo and virtual relationships will be suggested.


Presentation 3: Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress: Caring for Refugee Children.

Celeste Fiori, PPC, NCC


Hospitalizations are stressful experiences resulting in unfamiliar environments, unpredictability, and being confronted with life-threatening situations (Delvecchio et al., 2019). An important consideration for mental health counselors is the volume of hospital admissions that involve refugee children. This presentation aims to explore medical trauma, how to assist families in managing posttraumatic stress symptoms related to the medical trauma, and address the potential barriers between medical staff and refugee families seeking support during migration and resettlement.


Presentation 4: Addressing Mental Health Stigma, Equity, and Access through Public Library Partnerships.

Amanda DeDiego, PhD, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH & Celeste Fiori, PPC, NCC


Underserved populations include community members who have less access to healthcare services, are less familiar with healthcare services, experience barriers to accessing care, and/or have a shortage of providers available (Fiske et al., 2019). Disparities in healthcare outcomes and resources have historically impacted a variety of populations (Schilliinger, 2020). This presentation explores a partnership between mental health providers and public libraries. The PATHS Initiative seeks to create accessible telehealth access spaces in communities.


Presentation 5: Breaking The Curse Project (BTCP)

Michael James, M.Ed.


This presentation will provide an overview of generational curses and their impact on rural students' academic and emotional development. During the presentation, attendees will learn how the Breaking the Curse Project (BTCP) helps to address the importance of community partnerships, social justice advocacy, and the role of school counselors in disrupting systems of injustice to ensure students' upward mobility.


6 min 40 seconds - 10 min each = 50 min.


3 - 4:30 PM 

- Petch Kucha Competition Awards
- Poster Competition Awards
- Awards from nominations

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