How does the Naval Academy balance the potential educational benefits of generative AI with the need to maintain educational integrity and the development of critical thinking skills in Midshipmen? Given the nuanced approach to AI in classroom settings, what challenges have you faced in implementing and enforcing policies on the use of generative AI, and how have these been addressed? How has the introduction of generative AI impacted the pedagogical approaches within the Academy, especially concerning the emphasis on the writing process over the final product? Finally, with generative AI technologies evolving rapidly, what future plans does the Naval Academy have to continuously adapt its educational strategies to ensure that Midshipmen remain competitive and ethically grounded leaders in the age of AI?

Doctor Samara Firebaugh is the Academic Dean and Provost at the United States Naval Academy. In that role, she is responsible for the entire academic program for the 4,400-member Brigade of Midshipmen, oversees nearly 600 faculty members, and serves as the primary source of information and advice for the Superintendent regarding the education of midshipmen. 

Professor Firebaugh graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1995.  She received her Masters and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997 and 2001, respectively, both also in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Firebaugh’s area of scholarship is microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and particularly in integrated sensors and micro robotics. She is the 2014 recipient of the Class of 1951 Civilian Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2012 recipient of the Raouf Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching. 

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