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Edward Fiske, author of the best-selling Fiske Guide to Colleges, will speak on campus about pre-professionalism and the liberal arts next month as part of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education's annual Education Week, taking place this year from April 1 through 5. SCUE selected Fiske, who is also education editor of The New York Times, as the week's keynote speaker about three months ago. He will speak April 4, according to SCUE treasurer and Education Week co-chair Michael Dal Bello. "He has some definite insights into what undergraduate education shoud be like or can be like," Dal Bello said this week. "It's always great to hear from influential people from outside the campus on their views on undergraduate education." SCUE leaders said the week is "designed to draw attention to undergraduate education at the University and to bring speakers and students together to speak on contemporary issues." Eric Schneider, an assistant dean in the College, said the week is important in other ways as well. "The idea is to encourage our best students and all of our students to think about their education seriously and about the liberal arts," he said. "I would like to foster the growth of more intellectual culture on campus." SCUE, Connaisance and the College will co-sponsor the address, which will be in the Bodek Lounge of Houston Hall at 4:30 p.m. College officials said they are excited about Fiske's visit and said they expect a "moderate" turnout. "I think he is someone that most students will recognize because of the Fiske Guide, but he is very reflective about undergraduate education," Schneider said. "He has a sense of what college is and also what it might become." Education Week will also include a cocktail reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 2 at the Palladium for faculty and students, to encourage "interaction beyond the classroom experience." "It's a great way to get to know your professors outside the classrooms," Dal Bello said. "It's always good to get a new perspective." As part of the week, SCUE will also sponsor a forum April 3 featuring the deans of the four undergraduate schools. The panel will focus on whether liberal arts and pre-professionalism are "complimentary or contradictory." Dal Bello said the panelists will also discuss their own experiences and "how students should best approach undergraduate education." "It's designed to give students a different perspective or a new perspective on ways to structure their education and the different avenues available to them," he added. Schneider said he thinks the week will help students reflect on why they attend the University and what they hope to gain. He said he also hopes to encourage students to "think about education as a process rather than a commodity." "It's not something that ends when you get your degree," he added.

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