UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
News from
Faculty of Law
UM Today Network
graphic stating Congratulations to Katie Szilagyi and Nick Slonosky for winning the Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence and the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence, respectively.

Dr. Katie Szilagyi and Mr. Nick Slonosky. Photo of Dr. Szilagyi by Dr. Amar Khoday.

Faculty of Law Celebrates 2024 Teaching Award winners

June 13, 2024 — 

The Faculty of Law congratulates Dr. Katie Szilagyi, and Mr. Nick Slonosky, recipients of the Faculty’s two top teaching awards given annually to recognize one professor and one practicing professional instructor. Szilagyi is the recipient of The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence, and Slonosky was chosen for the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Szilagyi joined the Faculty of Law in 2021, and brings to the University of Manitoba, an unprecedented research focus on Law and Technology. She studies the intersection of technology law and legal theory with artificial intelligence, focusing on transdisciplinary research, combining her educational backgrounds in engineering and law with her experience in legal practice. Szilagyi holds a BSc in Engineering, as well as JD, LLM, and PhD degrees in law. Recent research projects include smart agriculture; social robotics; science fiction and the law; ethical frameworks for automated mobility; and conceptualizing the impacts of generative AI on the law. At Robson Hall, she teaches Property Law, and an upper-year seminar of her own design titled Law, Technology, and the Future.

Szilagyi received several independent nominations from students for The Barney Sneiderman Award, and those nominations came with multiple excellent letters of support. The selection committee notes that one student wrote:  “Dr. Szilagyi is nothing short of an exceptional educator. She is dedicated to exceptional pedagogy and diversity of curricula, encouraging students’ curiosity, and enriching and elevating students to their full potential.” Another stated, “On a personal note, Dr. Szilagyi made me love the law. I came to law school for the sole purpose of graduating, practicing and getting on with my life.  As a result of Dr. Szilagyi’s instruction, I now look forward to a career filled with studying, learning, and expanding my understanding of the law and all of its histories, philosophies and intricacies.”

Upon receiving the award, Szilagyi shared some thoughts on teaching that demonstrate how her own love for the law translates to her students: “Teaching law students is a fantastic job,” she explained. “I love meeting students at the very beginning of their legal careers and coasting on their wave of enthusiasm as they discover law’s possibilities and prevailing stories for the first time.

“As legal educators, we have an unparalleled opportunity to help shape the next generation of legal thought. I particularly appreciate the chance to explore emerging societal issues with students through the lens of law and technology. In my classes, we discuss novel technological issues ripped from the headlines, combined with philosophy and legal theory. I hope my students enter their careers with an understanding of how law, policy, and regulation intersect with technological development.

“While it was wonderful to be recognized with this award, the real honour is that my students took the time and energy to nominate me. I am grateful for the recognition!” – Dr. Katie Szilagyi

Slonosky is a practicing professional instructor and supervising lawyer on the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic management team. He brings to the Faculty of Law, years of practice experience as well as a deep commitment to experiential learning and professionalism that ensures the best possible training for Manitoba’s future generation of business lawyers. A graduate of the UM Faculty of Law himself, Slonosky holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree (1976), and an LLB (1979), as well as an MSc in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He practiced law for nearly 40 years as an in-house corporate lawyer before joining the business clinical team at the Faculty of Law in 2021.

One of Slonosky’s nominators for the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence for Sessional Instructors noted that his  “contributions to student development extend far beyond the classroom. Through my work, I’ve had the opportunity to develop skills in networking, public speaking, and representing our clinics in media interviews.”

Another letter of support mentioned, “his dedication to public service through the profession is unparalleled, and his work with students will undoubtedly instill these same values in future generations of lawyers.” 

Upon receiving the award, Slonosky thanked the Dean, the Faculty, and law students for the recognition. “It is a unique and  rewarding opportunity to be able to contribute to educating students participating in the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic and the Manitoba Legal Clinic for the Arts. With these clinics, we have created a learning environment that emulates a teaching law firm where students gain opportunities to experience actual legal practice with live-clients. Here, they develop practical skills and knowledge not acquired in other courses that are relevant in practice, so they are prepared, confident and will be superior performers during their articling year and future legal careers.” 

“The real award is being able to help students to become the best lawyers of tomorrow and serve pro bono clients who cannot afford legal assistance remotely across all of Manitoba today!” – Nick Slonosky

According to Slonosky, the clinical experiences he works to provide for students, are “all about personal growth, learning, acquiring knowledge where every student and all our clients are on their own unique journey towards success.”

Slonosky shared that in the past year, the clinics’ 22 externship students had a record-setting number of clients and performed a record number of pro bono hours. “We all learned a great deal together while helping others who cannot afford legal services,” he said.

The Faculty of Law is very proud of these two excellent instructors.

, , , , , , ,

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341