EAST DUNDEE, Ill. – Dr. Ali Harivandi, environmental horticulturist emeritus, University of California Cooperative Extension, was the honored recipient of the Turfgrass Educator Award of Excellence during the recent TPI 2014 International Education Conference & Field Day held in Orlando, Fla. 
 
In making the surprise announcement in front of an audience of over 400 attendees from 13 different countries, Linda Moyer of Sod Solutions, Mount Pleasant, S.C., and chair of the TPI Public Relations Working Group stated that TPI’s Board of Trustees had made the decision to honor Harivandi for his years of service in supporting the efforts of turfgrass producers worldwide.
 
Harivandi is only the second recipient to receive this distinguished honor from TPI. The last award was presented in 2008 to Dr. Laurie Trenholm, turfgrass extension specialist, University of Florida.
 
Upon being asked to step up to the stage to receive his award to a standing ovation, a somewhat stunned Harivandi expressed his gratitude and displayed the same professional grace, warmth and humility that is very much a part of his personality.
 
In a letter to the TPI Board, Harivandi later wrote, "I have no doubt that the existence of this award will hearten and motivate others in my profession as well-it is wonderful to know that doing a good job at something one enjoys can earn special acknowledgement.
I hope Turfgrass Producers International will continue to interact with and support the turfgrass academic community in our mutual pursuit of economically and environmentally sustainable turfgrass. I, personally, am honored to be associated with your organization, and believe others in academia are equally impressed by your efforts. Thank you again for this unexpected award-its receipt is a pleasure as well as an honor."