Kristina Bezanson, certified arborist and coordinator for the Stockbridge Arboriculture associate degree program, has been chosen to receive the coveted 2023 Ryan Award, as granted by the International Society of Arboriculture's New England chapter.
The Dr. H. Dennis P. Ryan III Award is the highest honor bestowed by the ISA New England Chapter. It is given in recognition of outstanding service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of arboriculture.
The award is granted to a dedicated and active member of the Chapter who has made seminal contributions to arboriculture, either through work in the organization, research, education, field practice or promotion. Only one such award is given per year.
Bezanson has been quite active in the tree industry. She coordinates both the on-campus and online Arboriculture programs at UMass Amherst, and also teaches several classes within the programs.
This Fall, she is teaching 3 sections of her Principles of Arboriculture course—the on-campus version, the online version, and a new venture at the Mt. Ida campus, teaching participants in the Power Corps Boston Apprentices job training program. On the Amherst campus, she's also teaching an advanced course in Commercial Arboriculture.
Come Spring, Bezanson can be found at the front of a seminar class in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, training more apprentices of Power Corps Boston, and supervising the Spring-through-Summer internships that are the heart of the Stockbridge Arboriculture degree.
Bezanson holds several industry certifications recognizing her skills and experience. She is both a Massachusetts Certified Arborist, and an ISA Board Master Certified Arborist, as well as a Qualified Tree Risk Assessor.
She also serves as Vice President and President-Elect of New England ISA, is a member of the ISA Student and Early Career Committee, and enjoys a collegial relationship with Dr. Ryan.
"It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers for my teaching work at Stockbridge and UMass," says Bezanson, "carrying on Dr. Ryan's legacy."
Bezanson is the successor to Ryan's position coordinating the Arboriculture/Urban Forestry program at UMass Amherst, expanding the program to include online and alternate-site components. She is particularly excited by her new focus on workforce development and environmental justice, training students from marginalized communities to become arboriculture professionals.
Dr. Ryan, Professor Emeritus, was the previous coordinator of the Arboriculture/Urban Forestry Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and served in academia as a faculty member for over 30 years. Until his retirement, Dr. Ryan was also the Executive Director of Forestry and Horticulture for the Parks Department of the City of New York. In addition to his academic and municipal leadership, Dr. Ryan worked as a commercial arborist for ten years and continues a longstanding tradition of arboricultural consulting in the area of tree and arboricultural-related accidents.