MCLEAN, Va. — Cygnacom's senior manager of federal professional services, Ella Schwartz, received a prestigious award from the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Schwartz’s book, “Can You Crack The Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography” was named the winner of the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Hands-on Science Book category. The book seeks to engage young minds in cryptography through compelling historical anecdotes, scientific backup, and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

As part of this award, Subaru will purchase thousands of copies of the book and distribute them to schools nationwide along with a curriculum to help teachers integrate the book into their lesson plans. Schwartz will be honored at the AAAS Annual Meeting, Feb. 13-16 in Seattle.

“Throughout two decades at Cygnacom, I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by the top experts in the field and work on important, cutting-edge cybersecurity initiatives,” Schwartz said. “Armed with this experience, I wrote “Can You Crack The Code?” with the hope of inspiring our next generation of cybersecurity warriors.”

At Cygnacom, Schwartz directs a team of technical consultants that deliver security consulting and architecture and system integration services to the federal government. As an expert in her field, Schwartz speaks on a variety of industry topics, including security, cryptography, and history. She has also taught courses in cybersecurity and led clinics for both children and adults.

“We’re thrilled that Ella has won this award, and we’re grateful to have Ella on the Cygnacom team,” said Peter Bello, president of Cygnacom. “It’s incredible that one of our own experts is helping America’s youth focus on topics that matter to our future. Cybersecurity is a fascinating, increasingly important field, and we’re so proud to drive growth and education in the world of science and technology.”

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