APL Colloquium

December 3, 2021

Colloquium Topic: Talking in Code

The Navajo Code Talkers are famous for using their language to protect U.S. Marine Corps radio messages during World War II.  But they weren’t the only, or even the first, Native Americans to do so.   Learn how the U.S. military leveraged the unique languages of Native Americans to secure voice communications in both world wars.

Colloquium Speaker: Jennifer Wilcox

Jennifer Wilcox has been the Director of Education for the National Security Agency’s National Cryptologic Museum since 1999.  She has conducted extensive research in cryptologic history particularly pertaining to the World War II German cipher machine Enigma and the Allies’ ability to solve those messages and the women in American cryptologic history.  Her research has resulted in brochures, articles, presentations and museum exhibits.

Ms. Wilcox earned her B.A. in Telecommunication from Michigan State University in 1983.  She began her career at the National Security Agency in 1986.  Ms. Wilcox first worked in the NSA television center writing and producing educational videos.  She followed that with a move to the NSA libraries as an Information Librarian where she honed her research skills. 

For more than 20 years at the museum, a primary function of Ms. Wilcox’s work has been in creating and presenting a wide variety of educational programs for students visiting the museum as well as presenting briefings to adult audiences.  Her research and presentations cover topics including women in American cryptology, Native American code talkers, Civil War signaling, and cryptology in the American Revolution, as well as the popular Enigma story.