Kwantlen instructor Susan Murray wins Excellence Award from International Society of Arboriculture

Wed, Sep 12, 2012


Susan Murray
Caption: Susan Murray is shown tree pruning (a technique used to trim and shape trees for optimal tree health)

For immediate release

September 13, 2012

Kwantlen instructor Susan Murray wins Excellence Award from International Society of Arboriculture

(Metro Vancouver, BC) - Susan Murray, instructor of arboriculture and horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, has been honoured with the Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

The Alex L. Shigo Award honours ISA members for enhancing the quality and professionalism of arboriculture through education. Susan was honoured last month by Colin Bashford, ISA president, at the society’s annual conference and trade show in Portland, Oregon.

“Susan shares her passion for horticulture and her commitment to excellence in the practice of horticulture with both her students and colleagues,” says David Davidson, associate dean, school of horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University. “The success of our graduates is in a significant way due to the high expectations that Susan has of them in her classes and the way she demonstrates her commitment to excellence and to horticulture in and out of the classroom. Our urban forest is much the better because of Susan. So are our communities.”

Susan has been a faculty member at Kwantlen for close to 20 years, teaching arboriculture and horticulture, most recently from the Langley campus. Her connection to trees runs deep, as her family operated Murray Nurseries, Ltd., in Vancouver for three generations, starting in 1916. Susan was one of the first women to enter this profession back in the 1970’s and paved the way for many others to come.

“My whole life has been dedicated to the education of students where I teach them the benefits of trees and how to care for them,” says Murray. “I teach them how to make the world a better place one tree at a time.”

ISA has been honouring members and industry professionals with the Awards of Distinction since 1963. The categories recognize candidates in such areas as research, publishing, education, and advancing the best practices of proper tree care in the industry. The winners are selected by a diverse group of experts in arboriculture including university professors, retired arborists, owners of tree care companies, and forestry managers.

Susan teaches a variety of courses in Kwantlen’s school of horticulture including plant identification, landscape design, and introductory and advanced arboriculture courses. Skill development and critical thinking are key goals as the students in Susan’s classes develop their knowledge of plants, design landscapes, assess tree health and practice tree preservation. Her interests in promoting excellence in horticulture are shared by all faculty members. For more information on Kwantlen's school of horticulture please visit:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Please visit:


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