Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) has kicked off this year’s Phase I of its Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MIs) Cyber and Data Science Internship program this month.
Funded by the Department of Navy (DoN) HBCU/MI Program Office within the Office of Naval Research, the program is designed to be the Navy’s premier cyber outreach effort for undergraduate and graduate computer science and engineering students attending the nation’s HBCU/MIs. This competitive internship takes place over the course of six to seven months with students working in teams, directly with NAVWAR technical professionals, on mission-critical cyber and data science initiatives. This will be its seventh year in operation.
“The Navy and Marines count on us to deliver the best Information Warfare capability possible,” said Rear Adm. Douglas Small, commander at NAVWAR. “To do that, we need to find world-class talent anywhere we can. The HBCU/MI Cyber and Data Science Internship program is a great way to recruit eye-watering talent that also makes us a stronger, more diverse, and inclusive team. By embracing different perspectives, backgrounds and cultures, we can understand how these experiences and varied points of view will help us make the best decisions.”
After nationwide protests in the spring and summer of 2020, the Navy stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N) to identify and make recommendations to dismantle barriers to equality while creating sustainable opportunities. One of TF1N’s recommendations, intended to enhance culture and directly impact civilian workforce, is to develop burgeoning partnerships with HBCU/MIs.
NAVWAR’s HBCU/MI program was started several years prior to TF1N and since its inception, it has ensured that HBCU/MIs are actively engaged in addressing science and technology challenges facing the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Through the HBCU/MI Program, TF1N better positions Navy organizations to be greater enablers of the science, technology, engineering and math pipeline produced from HBCU/MIs.
As a result, the NAVWAR HBCU/MI Cyber and Data Science Internship program directly supports TF1N’s recommendation to strengthen relationships between the Navy and HBCU/MIs and will help diversify the workforce by providing mentorship and hands-on experience through the internship.
This program differs from other internship initiatives at NAVWAR and across the DoN because it’s a dual-phase program that provides months of mentoring and student engagement prior to students transitioning to paid interns working at the warfare centers. These combined experiences provide unparalleled technical work experience and an expanded network of support.
“This internship gave me the opportunity to network with the other interns while furthering my knowledge on cloud computing and agile development,” said Diontre Pierre, a computer science major at Norfolk State University. “Attending this internship has been very beneficial to me and has allowed me to retain valuable information that can be leveraged while a student and later in my career.”
During Phase I, which will roughly take place from February to April 2022, students will participate in monthly mentoring cyber workshops led by NAVWAR technical personnel, either on-campus, virtually or a combination of both. During this phase, students will be welcomed by senior NAVWAR leadership, introduced to technical teams they will support during Phase II and participate in career development workshops.
In Phase II, from May to August 2022, students will transition to interns and become immersed in cyber and data science research projects focused on protecting the nation’s information systems networks and outmaneuvering cyber adversaries. They will work in team environments over a ten-week period supporting technical projects. Some of the projects planned for the 2022 HBCU/MI cohort include working alongside subject matter experts within the NavalX Tech Bridge ecosystem prototyping a digital platform using agile development methodologies, a mobile application development project and a Development, Security and Operations (DevSecOps) effort connected to Project Overmatch, a high priority initiative that will develop and field the Navy’s Operational Architecture as the underlying digital foundation necessary to enable distributed warfighting within the Navy and with joint and coalition partners. NavalX serves the Navy and Marine Corps as an innovation and agility cell supporting and connecting initiatives across the Department of Defense.
“It was a privilege to get to know the interns at a personal level, how they had their own unique story of overcoming challenges that led them to our Cloud Cyber DevSecOps domain,” said Jonas Lazo, chief systems engineer at NAVWAR and previous mentor. “The seven interns I worked with made phenomenal contributions resulting in labor savings, mobile accessibility and cybersecurity certification. I’m proud to have made a difference and look forward to continuous mentoring.”
In addition to a work stipend ranging from $8,500 to $9,500 over a ten-week period for Phase II, interns will receive a travel and housing stipend. They will be working in NAVWAR laboratories located across the country in Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; Pearl City, HI; Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA or Norfolk, VA.
“The relationship between NAVWAR’s HBCU/MI Cyber and Data Science Internship Program and TF1N will support NAVWAR in institutionalizing inclusion and diversity while further accelerating Culture of Excellence efforts,” said Maurice Civers-Davis, Director of NAVWAR’s HBCU/MI Cyber and Data Science Internship Program. “Research models, data analytics, approaches and best practices realized from the program offer insight into gaps in inclusion and diversity and provide data-driven solutions to command workforce culture and climate issues within NAVWAR and the Navy.”
NAVWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions operating in warfighting domains from seabed to space and through cyberspace. NAVWAR consists of more than 11,000 civilian, active duty and reserve professionals located around the world.
|Date Posted:||02.10.2022 09:36|
|Location:||SAN DIEGO , CA, US|
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