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Elonka Dunin, 2006.jpg

Hello! I'm Elonka Dunin. I am a writer, game developer, project manager, cryptologist, webmistress, public speaker, world-traveler, and appreciator of all kinds of different subcultures.  :)

I've had a Wikipedia account since September 16, 2005, made my 1000th edit on January 19, 2006, and was approved as an administrator in December 2007. As of 2021 I have created or put major work into over 500 Wikipedia articles, and have made over 70,000 edits, which I guess puts me somewhere in the top 1200 of active Wikipedians.

Much of my time is spent either writing/improving articles, or working on some of the above WikiProjects. Before becoming an admin, I especially enjoyed helping out with categorization, trying to ensure that every single article either has a category, or is at least flagged as needing one. Since I became an administrator, I have been helping out in other areas, such as reviewing the Wikipedia dispute resolution process, and helping out at Arbitration Enforcement. I was also one of the people chosen by the Arbitration Committee for the 2008 Working group on ethnic and cultural edit wars, and have experimented with some different techniques on addressing this chronic problem. I wrote some stuff for the "New Admin school", like the Administrators Guide on dealing with disputes.

Of the articles that I've worked on, the ones that I am most proud of include:  Knights Templar,  Franco-Mongol alliance,  Pauline Fowler,  Fustat,  The White Bird,  David Lucas (composer),  Linda November, Black Stone, Dirty Dancing, Mongol Empire, and Sempad the Constable.

For my day job, I'm a professional game developer, Agile Coach, and a published author. My book The Mammoth Book of Secret Codes and Cryptograms was published internationally in 2006, I have written a couple articles about the CIA's encrypted Kryptos sculpture, and co-wrote Codebreaking: A Practical Guide in 2020 with crypto-blogger Klaus Schmeh. As a hobby, I maintain some popular websites on the subject of cryptography, especially Kryptos and other famous unsolved codes, and I show up on TV or in the news every so often. I'm also a public speaker, usually giving talks on the subjects of games, Wikipedia, geocaching, or cryptography.

Wikipedia is one of my favorite hobbies, and I love writing articles, helping behind-the-scenes, and giving lectures about how members of the public can better be positively engaged with their own Wikipedia experiences. :) I think Wikipedia is an amazing concept that is going to continue to grow quite rapidly. I often scan through the new articles that are flowing in at a rate of over a thousand per day, and I am humbled by the sheer quantity of information that's accumulating in this massive project. I am very proud to be a part of it.

Contact info

I grew up in Los Angeles, and have also lived and worked in Denver, St. Louis, Nashville, and England. As of 2018, I live in Rockville, Maryland, USA. The quickest way to get in contact with me is usually via Facebook message or email to . Messages on my talkpage are also welcome.  :)

The following are awards which other Wikipedians have seen fit to bestow upon me. Thank you.
In recognition of excellence in editing Lost (TV series) Jtrost (T 12:56, 13 October 2006 (UTC)[1]
The Zen Garden Award for Infinite Patience is awarded to you for extraordinary patience and perseverance in achieving a successful unanimous resolution to Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Lost episodes. Thatcher131 04:12, 28 September 2006 (UTC)[2]
I hereby award Elonka this Barnstar of Diligence for her incredible defense of good manners and Wikipolicy, all while maintaining decorum and indefatigability.
  - C. dentata Chestnut.png 02:22, 12 February 2006 (UTC)[3]
I hereby award Elonka this featured article honor barnstar for her incredible contributions and for making a featured article or two on the Wikipedia Main Page. Thank you.
*Great Tennis Players-UBXesWikipediaman123-TALKC K e

Wikipediaman123 22:45, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[4]
I hereby present Elonka the Surreal Barnstar award. This unique Star is given to those individuals who positively add "special flavor" to the community by acting as a sort of wildcard. -- Lperez2029 23:21, 2 November 2006 (UTC)[5]
I hereby award Elonka this Special Barnstar in recognition of her extreme civility, valour and chivalry in defending what on wikki are underdog positions, but majority POV in real life. And for looking gorgeous in the pic on her user page!
FeydHuxtable (talk) 10:15, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Great editing! Thanks for you ten to fifteen thousand edits! (WOW!) Wikipedia will become a better place if more users like you were around. Thanks for all of you edits.

Wikipediaman123 22:38, 17 October 2006 (UTC) [6]

Resilient Barnstar.png The Resilient Barnstar
For surviving an unusual and undeserved quantity of Wikipedia controversy, getting up, brushing yourself off, and continuing doing good work in the face of adversity. AnonEMouse (squeak) 20:53, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[7]
Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
For helping out with Pauline Fowler, and for pointing me in the right direction and giving me valuable advice. -Trampikey(talk)(contribs) 23:17, 27 May 2007 (UTC)[8]
WPSOAP-BarnstarIcon1.png The Soap Opera Barnstar
Elonka has been awarded The Soap Opera Barnstar for helping bring WP:SOAPS back from the dead! — TAnthony 02:02, 7 June 2007 (UTC)[9]
WikiDefender Barnstar.png The Mighty Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For your work in upholding our encyclopedic standards and BLP policies, and especially the patience you have shown in dealing with difficult contributors. WjBscribe 23:00, 24 June 2007 (UTC)[10]
The Zen Garden Award Zen Garden Award for Infinite Patience
A little birdie told me that you maybe could use a lift. You've kept your head through recent events a lot better than I would have, and you haven't let it drive you away from editing. Looking forward to seeing you at Hacking 201 again this year! LaMenta3 20:34, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[11]
Purple Star.png The Purple Star
So sorry for all you're getting hit by. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:34, 24 October 2007 (UTC)[12]
Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
It is my pleasure to award Elonka, this Barnstar of Diligence in recognition of all her hard work in raising Franco-Mongol alliance(hope it will soon overcome the dispute) Avinesh Jose 05:22, 14 November 2007 (UTC)[13]
Resilient Barnstar.png The Resilient Barnstar
For passing an RFA on your 3rd attempt, a rare feat. Mangojuicetalk 05:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)[14]
Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For your work in ensuring historical accuracy across a wide range of articles, I award you this Barnstar of Diligence. Horologium (talk) 17:21, 14 March 2008 (UTC)[15]
Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Peace
For grace under fire and for effortless diplomacy in tense situations. AniMate 23:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)[16]
Crustacean barnstar.png The Barnstar of Putting up with Crabby People
For putting up with all of us that try your patience and make you want to pull your hair out but really do appreciate you.

KellyAna (talk) 02:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)[17]

Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Peace
Elonka, for your work in mediating the Hungarian and Slovak communities in their dispute, and for your remarkable patience, I award you the Barnstar of Peace. +Hexagon1 (t) 14:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[18]
Vitruvian Barnstar.png The da Vinci Barnstar
It's pseudo-long, but just read this wiki-user-talk-thingy-thread for why Elonka gets this Barnstar (geeks and hackers need pay special attention): [19]. Transparent disclosure: I have met Elonka in the real world. Follow the link anyway. This was VERY cool real "defense of wikipedia" work. If I didn't know you, me and two other users would likely be eternally wiki-screwed for no good reason. Quartermaster (talk) 19:06, 26 July 2008 (UTC)[20]
Society barnstar 2.png Society Barnstar
For mediating and seeing through to the end issues regarding George Thomas Coker, I salute and thank you! RlevseTalk 00:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)[21]
WikiDefender Barnstar.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For your tireless and endless efforts to protect Wikipedia against an organised group trying to subvert Wikipedia from inside and for going above and beyond to prevent Wikipedia from being used for fraudulent purposes, you are awarded The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar Bharatveer (talk) 05:52, 7 August 2008 (UTC)[22]
Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Peace
For constructive critcism of me, and for resolving a dispute at Law of Palestine. Bearian'sBooties (talk) 01:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)[23]
Opinion Barnstar Blue.jpg Your Opinion is More Important than You Think Barnstar
Awarded for your participation in the dispute over at Talk:Medicine. Your opinion and your ability to handle disputes is really, really appreciated. Cheers :) —Cyclonenim (talk · contribs) 23:25, 20 August 2008 (UTC)[24]
Featured article star.svg

User:Elonka has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as Elonka's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear Elonka!

00:07, 17 October 2009 (UTC)[25]

A record of your Day will always be kept here.

Homemadebarnstar.png Home-Made Barnstar
For helping enforce good editor behavior at Troubles-related articles. John (talk) 19:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[26]
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