CivilianCyber Completes Second Micro-Internship Project with The BIONIC Initiative

CivilianCyber recently participated in a second round of a R&D focused micro-internship project focused on bringing students together to learn about and provide solutions to identifying and mitigating sources of mis- and disinformation in the Indo-Pacific region. The project was sponsored through Chaminade University’s National Science Foundation and Air Force programs for Data Science workforce development, and the Bowie State Influence Operations National Innovation Center (BIONIC).

The BIONIC Initiative was introduced last year as a nonpartisan, national public-private partnership consortium consisting of only Academia and small businesses to use machine learning/Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other leading-edge technologies/innovation for countering malign influence (CMI) that is intended to be detrimental to the U.S.

The six-week program was powered by CivilianCyber’s Technology Enabled Engagement and MentoringTM (TEEM) solution and provided eleven university students and early career professionals with guided learning modules focused on preparing students and private citizens for future careers in fields that will enhance advances to combat malign influence in our new digital world. Eminent subject matter experts in the field provided high level briefings, and graduate peer mentors supported students’ progress. At the end of the program the students were presented with a Challenge – to develop an innovative solution to combat misinformation and disinformation in the Pacific Islands.

At the end of the program three students were invited to give their final presentations to the leadership team:

– Wilneris Carrion-Colon from Chaminade University was selected as the overall winner and will receive a $500 prize.

– Cole Connelly from the University of Hawaii and Golda Nkongho from Bowie State University each received honorable mentions and a $200 prize.

Dr. Helen Turner, Principal Investigator of the NSF Alliance Supporting Pacific Impact through Computational Excellence (NSF ALL-SPICE) and the AFOSR ‘DataSKills’ programs at Chaminade, commented “Information pollution is a central threat to the priorities our students care about in their island communities– peace, climate resilience, health, economic growth. This program is a deep and rapid dive into countering malign information, and students become part of the solution through this micro-internship – presenting innovative solutions at the interface of data science, AI, geopolitics and social science”.

Bobby Keener, CEO of Civilian Cyber, described the program, “It can be hard for busy professionals to find time to provide the perspective and mentoring that students need if they are to be career-ready when they graduate. BIONIC understands this and we are excited they chose our TEEM platform to deliver student-driven micro-internships that make these interactions more accessible and fulfilling for both the students and professionals.” The TEEM platform has been successfully deployed across multiple programs in universities and educational organizations across Virginia.

To learn more about the BIONIC Initiative visit: To learn more about CivilianCyber’s TEEM program visit:

To learn more about the NSF award HRD-2217242 visit: