The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to this year’s winners, Professor Bryan Schwartz and Sessional Instructor Eleanor Wiebe. 

The first Barney Sneiderman Awards for Teaching Excellence were announced on Thursday, May 7th, during the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law Centennial Finale held at Government House. The event provided a fitting close to our year of celebrations of the law school and our community, of our shared history and our bright future. Dean Lorna A. Turnbull began the award ceremony portion of the evening with the following comments. “An important part of positioning us for our next 100 years is ensuring that we continue to review and refine the delicate balance between our calling as teachers and our passions as researchers, which are not mutually exclusive, but rather when properly balanced, are mutually reinforcing. Our late colleague Barney Sneiderman knew this and he lived this.”

The teaching awards, named in honour of Sneiderman, were created by his wife (Carla Shapiro) and children and generously supported by Justice Marshall Rothstein. This award will be given out annually to one excellent teacher (full time faculty member or sessional instructor) from nominations made by colleagues, alumni or students. In this inaugural year, the award was given to two worthy recipients: full time faculty member Professor Bryan Schwartz, and sessional instructor Eleanor Wiebe.

Dean Turnbull celebrated each recipient with the following comments.

“Professor Schwartz’ commitment to teaching has touched upon every one of the aspects the award considers including classroom teaching, curriculum development, supervision of students in research and in mooting, publishing on legal educational theory, and creating the innovative and popular Hebrew University program, which is where he is today. He was praised by his nominators as being a mentor who has taught generations of students in a broad range of courses and contributed to student development through co-authoring and publishing student work. They also noted how fitting it would be for this inaugural award to be granted to someone who worked for many years alongside Barney and who delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

“Professor Wiebe is an outstanding teacher who uses a combination of lecture and problem solving in every class. She takes her teaching very seriously and has educated herself about using technology in her teaching. She has shared her teaching gift by speaking to new sessional lecturers and been featured in a University publication about Teaching. She literally makes her class text book digestible for her students by having an edible version made at a specialty bakeshop. It is touches such as these that exemplify her kindness and humility. When paired with her “incredible effectiveness and efficiency in the classroom” these qualities, in the estimation of her nominators, make her “beloved” just as Barney was.”

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