The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence

The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence, appropriately named in memory of a much loved teacher of law at Robson Hall, will recognize one person each year for excellence in teaching practice. The award was created and the fund started by Barney Sneiderman’s friends and family. Through the generosity of Justice of the Supreme Court, Marshall Rothstein, and his commitment to excellence in teaching, the award was granted for the first time in our centennial year.

Nomination are now closed.

2018 Nomination Form (print)
2018 Nomination Form (online)

Past winners:

2018 – Professor Karen Busby
2017 – Professor Virginia Torrie
2016 – Professor Gerald Heckman
2015 – Professor Bryan Schwartz, and Sessional Instructor Eleanor Wiebe

Terms of Reference (click to expand)

The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence serves to recognize and celebrate a faculty member’s contributions to teaching at the Faculty of Law.

The Faculty of Law places great value on excellence in teaching. Many students and alumni recall, vividly and fondly, instructors of the past and present. This award is an important opportunity for members of the Faculty’s community to publicly support and recognize our excellent teachers. The award honours Barney Sneiderman who was a beloved teacher from 1969 – 2006. Barney was eternally curious, confidently irreverent, and passionately interested in connecting with people from all walks of life. He was a devoted educator, in the classroom and beyond, through his writing (of academic texts and op-eds) and his speaking (on the radio and at conferences). He was a devoted husband and father to his wife Carla and his three children Liora, Miriam and Robby as well as an ardent educator. He also strived for excellence in all he did and would be delighted to know that an award to recognize excellence in teaching was created in his name to foster the dedicated teachers who have followed his example with a love of learning.

The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence will be made in the spring of each year if a suitable candidate is nominated. The recipient will receive a monetary award, made possible through donations by the friends and family of Barney Sneiderman in his memory, and through the generosity of the Hon. Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein.

Activities that may be recognized can include (but are not limited to):

  • classroom instruction (ie clarity in instruction, student participation/engagement, responsiveness to students, provision of useful feedback, building of bridges from existing to new knowledge)
  • innovative teaching methods
  • development of instructional materials
  • supervision of students in research
  • coaching of students in competitions
  • contributions to student development outside the classroom
  • curriculum development

Individual teachers (faculty members and sessional instructors) in the Faculty are eligible. An individual will not be eligible to receive the award if s/he has received it within the previous four years.

An individual who has previously received The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence will be eligible based on teaching since receiving the award previously.

Members of the Faculty of Law community (Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni) may make nominations.


  • Nomination forms are available through the office of the Dean.
  • Nomination forms should be accompanied by supporting letters from the nominator and two other members of the Faculty of Law community as described above. These letters should outline how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in teaching and must be signed. Nominations are submitted to the Office of the Dean.
  • The deadline for receipt of complete nominations is March 15 of each year.
  • Following the nomination deadline, the Dean’s Office will contact nominees for confirmation that they wish their names to stand. Nominees will then be asked to provide a copy of his/her teaching dossier or relevant CV.
    NOTE: All nomination papers, letters of support, and curriculum vitae will remain confidential.
  • The Selection Committee will be composed of two faculty members (on alphabetical rotation), one student (named by the MLSA), one alumnus/a (selected by the Dean), and the Associate Dean (JD Program).
  • The Selection Committee will review the nominations and determine which candidate to recommend for the award and prepare the citation for the award recipient.  The Dean will communicate with the successful candidate.

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