Academic Excellence

Center for Cyber Security Studies
Executive Summary

Cyber terrorism and cyber warfare are now among the most pressing threats to national security, and Cyber has joined Sea, Air, Land and Space as the naval service’s fifth operational domain. Expertise in cyber operations is requisite for military leaders, and cyber education has become equally vital for the midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy, the men and women who will become the next generation of Navy and Marine Corps officers.

Because all midshipmen are required to take courses in cyber security in their plebe and second-class years, the entire Brigade of Midshipmen benefits from exposure to course content driven by current events, focused on the fundamentals of risks and threats and enhanced by a range of hands-on experiences and project-based learning, including attack and defend exercises. The Academy is the only undergraduate college in the country to require such extensive exposure to cyber topics for all students. One hundred percent of the Brigade now take required cyber operations courses.

The core cyber curriculum reaches into all aspects of the Brigade’s education including:

  • Ethical implications
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Warfare aspects
  • Two core curriculum courses
  • A new Cyber Operations major
  • Several advanced courses for computer science and information technology majors

The Academy’s new major in cyber operations, which graduates its first midshipmen in 2016, provides an in-depth, intense and interdisciplinary examination of the issues influencing cyber security and cyber warfare.  This major should grow to become one of the top majors at the Academy.

Center for Cyber Security Studies faculty members include both technical experts and world-class thought leaders who are helping to create national and international cyber policy and law.

The Academy also needs a dedicated facility, designed to allow all of these assets to be utilized to their fullest potential. The Academy has completed a conceptual study for a secure Center for Cyber Security Studies building located on the Yard between Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall. This facility will include classrooms, labs, offices, project spaces and a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), which is essential for the management of classified Information. When completed, the building will co-locate the Center for Cyber Security Studies with the departments of computer science, electrical engineering and systems engineering, creating opportunities for program integration that enhance project-based learning across all disciplines.

While government funding supports some of this work, additional funds are needed to:

  • Recruit expert faculty instructors whose prior military, government and industry leadership experience will enhance the education of the Brigade
  • Sustain a Cyber Lecture Series
  • Establish specialized security training
  • Support participation in national cyber competitions
  • Provide internship opportunities at NSA and related agencies
  • Ensure Cyber experiences for the entire Brigade
  • Help outfit the new dedicated facility

Center for Academic Excellence
Executive Summary

The Class of 1963 Center for Academic Excellence delivers reading and writing skills instruction, tutoring services and academic advising and counseling programs vital to the success of the entire Brigade of Midshipmen. Today, the Academy’s attrition rate for academic reasons stands at 3%–the lowest in the institution’s history—as a result of the Center’s work. Gift funds are sought to ensure the Center’s continued and improved ability to provide the following services:

  • Plebe advising and intervention
  • Academic counseling
  • Learning and reading and writing skills support
  • Tutoring
  • Midshipmen group study program

 International Education Excellence – IPO
Executive Summary

In the 21st century the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps face an entirely new set of challenges and responsibilities. Working more closely with foreign military and civilian leaders from around the world, young Navy and Marine Corps officers represent the frontline of diplomacy, building stability and mutual trust through international cooperation and engagement. The Center for International Studies represents the Naval Academy’s comprehensive and coordinated approach to these clear and present challenges. Funds raised through this campaign will increase the number of midshipmen who will be given the opportunity for a:

  • Semester of study abroad at foreign naval academies
  • Semester of study abroad at civilian universities
  • Language study abroad
  • Cultural immersion programs
  • Professional training with foreign navies

Distinguished Military Professors
Executive Summary

Recently retired senior military officers are uniquely suited to educating midshipmen in the critical areas of leadership, character development, and ethics.  These Distinguished Military Professors (DMPs) manage a significant portion of the Academy’s Leadership, Education, and Development (LEAD) Division core program, providing valuable continuity as a complement to rotating active duty military faculty, and delivering tremendous dividends in the development, execution, and assessment of LEAD courses.

Private gift funding currently supports three Distinguished Military Professors:

  • The Class of 1971 Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership
  • The Class of 1972 Distinguished Military Professor of
    Character Education
  • The USAA General Robert Herres Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics

Resources are sought to augment support for the three existing DMPs and to support three additional DMPs in Leadership & Ethics, Naval Law and Seamanship & Navigation.

Distinguished Visiting Professors
Executive Summary

Successful pursuit of the Naval Academy’s mission relies on the participation of an exceptional faculty comprising the most accomplished individuals in their fields. Distinguished Visiting Professors (DVPs)—leading  national and international experts with specialized and recent experience in emerging, important subject areas—teach advanced courses, lead seminars, develop speaker series and conduct research to enhance the Brigade’s understanding of contemporary issues. These faculty members, who join the Academy for a fixed period of time, work closely with permanent Naval Academy faculty and staff to design and implement new interdisciplinary courses and fields of concentrated study, summer professional experiences, internships and facilities development in order to help the Academy remain a leading institution of higher education.  Private funds are sought to support Distinguished Visiting Professorships in disciplines including:

  • Cyber Security Studies
  • Political Science
  • Nuclear Power
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Japanese Language Studies
  • Applied Math
  • Operations Research

Faculty Recruitment and Development
Executive Summary

Philanthropic support for faculty recruitment and development in all departments is essential to the Academy’s pursuit of its academic mission. Recruitment funds are often used to support a new faculty person’s scholarly research program. These startup costs provide specialized laboratory equipment, advanced computing support or scholarly library materials in research fields not currently supported at the Academy. In addition, in order for young faculty to continue developing their scholarly and research capabilities during the pre-tenure years, they require support in the form of summer stipends, field research support and funding for the purchase of research materials. In the humanities and social sciences, and most especially in the critical languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian), faculty require additional support for international research conducted. These research and summer stipend programs are currently designed to impact 35 young faculty members annually, with a planned expansion to an additional 15-25 faculty each year.

Faculty development funds enhance teaching and learning pedagogy and support scholarly research.  They impact the quality of teaching, learning, and research at the Naval Academy by providing professional development opportunities for 65-75 faculty members annually.

Project-Based Learning
Executive Summary

Project-based learning and practical design experiences are an essential part of midshipmen education. First, the sheer complexity of today’s naval weapon and engineering systems mandates a multidisciplinary, practical approach to bringing advancements in applied engineering and technology into Naval Academy classrooms.  Second, the Navy requires 65% of each Academy graduating class to major in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) discipline, and an emphasis on project-based learning is a critical aspect of attracting these students. Finally, engineering accreditation bodies are increasingly requiring outcomes-based engineering programs that culminate in a final Capstone design experience.

The Academy’s annual federal appropriation does not fund the entire range of Project-Based Learning activities. Gift funds are essential to fund the “margin of excellence” between what the federal appropriation supports and what the Naval Academy requires. Expanding the emphasis on Project-Based Learning among all STEM major programs and at all levels of the undergraduate education (from plebe to first-class year) will promote a deeper understanding and retention of coursework, enhance critical thinking skills and excite, attract and ultimately retain midshipmen in STEM majors.

This campaign will support a variety of initiatives and faculty, including:

  • Director of Project-Based Learning
  • Senior (Midshipman First Class) Capstone projects
  • Midshipman internships
  • Support for wind tunnel, hydro-lab, nuclear reactor, and directed energy laboratory facilities

Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference

Established in 1961, the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference brings together more than 150 undergraduate students from the United States and over a dozen foreign countries every year for three days of critical discussions, lectures, informal exchanges, and social events

The conference has grown to be the leading undergraduate conference in the country. It has welcomed delegates from thirty countries in each of the last five years and it has heard speakers as notable as President George Bush, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  The conference provides an outstanding opportunity for the midshipmen to come to understand the global forces that may project them into duty in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Korea, North Africa or Latin America. Good officers need a sophisticated understanding of current affairs; this conference puts them together for a week with their civilian counterparts as well as with young officers and civilian delegates from about two dozen countries for conversations in which they can develop that understanding.

 Naval Academy Science & Engineering Conference

The annual Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference (NASEC) is a four-day undergraduate conference held in the fall. This student-run conference brings together policy makers and science advisors together with university faculty and students to meet and discuss significant science and engineering issues and challenges.   Over 100 undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the country come to the Naval Academy to focus on several themes.  A recent conference examined Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels, Cyber Space and Security, and Health and Sustainability. 30 STEM midshipmen participated as conference facilitators.