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Florence Cassel Sharma named recipient of 2021 Excellence in Education Award

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (July 15, 2021) — The Irrigation Association is excited to announce that Florence Cassel Sharma, PhD, of California State University-Fresno and the Center for Irrigation Technology, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Excellence in Education Award, sponsored by Hunter | Senninger. This award recognizes a person who teaches irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution and has a commitment to not only elevating the level of education but also promoting the field of irrigation as a viable and sustainable career to students.

Over the past 20 years, in addition to being a role model for female students, Cassel Sharma has excelled in teaching, research, student advising and leadership skills that allow her to be a beacon for her students interested in pursuing a successful career in irrigation and water conservation. She has demonstrated that she is truly dedicated to her students’ success, incorporating a number of strategies to raise awareness of irrigation career opportunities.

“Dr. Cassel Sharma has shown an extraordinary commitment and dedication to the success of her students,” said IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. “She works to raise awareness of irrigation career opportunities through her student-centered research and by encouraging her students to take advantage of the unique experiences our industry offers to learn more and gain exposure.”

Cassel Sharma has been highly involved in the IA’s workforce development programs, presenting numerous workshops and sessions at the Faculty Academy events and participating in the E3 program. She is the faculty advisor for the Fresno State Irrigation Student Club. As the only female faculty member on campus involved in teaching and research related to irrigation, she is a mentor for female students exploring a career in an area that has predominantly employed men.

“I am greatly honored to be recognized by the Irrigation Association with the 2021 Excellence in Education Award. It has been a joy and a privilege to teach and mentor Fresno State students in the areas of water management and irrigation technology,” Cassel Sharma said. “I look forward to continuing engaging and empowering our students so they are prepared to address the present and future challenges of our industry.”

Cassel Sharma and the other 2021 IA award recipients will be featured guests on a webinar hosted by the IA this fall. More information about this and other IA awards and past recipients can be found at