April 27, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Nathan Popp Named Graduate Assistant of the Year at VSU

Nathan H. Popp of Cumming, Georgia, is Valdosta State University’s 2022 Graduate Assistant of the Year.


VALDOSTA — Nathan H. Popp of Cumming, Georgia, is Valdosta State University’s 2022 Graduate Assistant of the Year.

“Just being nominated for this honor was amazing. Winning was a surprise,” says Popp, who has served as a graduate assistant with VSU’s Employee and Organizational Development team since May 2021. “I’m happy to hear that my work has brought as much value to VSU as it has to my own professional development.”

Employee and Organizational Development at VSU is committed to developing programs that orient, train, and develop employees, helping them to improve skill levels, promote personal career growth, and optimize their performance. As a member of this innovative team, Popp manages the employee training database, serves as a training session moderator, promotes professional development events, co-facilitates training sessions, assists with the new Skillsoft Percipio learning management system platform, conducts data analysis, and handles various administrative tasks like answering the phone and responding to email.

Popp’s commitment to service excellence earned him an I Caught You Caring Award in December 2021.

“Nathan is one of our most trustworthy team members and is always ready to do whatever it takes to get the work done,” says Wendy Byrd, training specialist with Employee and Organizational Development. “He maintains an extraordinary level of precision and attention to detail in his work, which is necessary as he engages with faculty, staff, students, and facilitators across campus. Nathan is mindful of deadlines, has a high sense of responsibility, and plans his work accordingly.”    

Popp is the mastermind behind Percipio Play, a monthly online learning and development challenge for VSU employees who wish to learn new skills and increase knowledge in a variety of focus areas.

“Working with the Skillsoft Percipio learning management system has been my passion project during my time with Employee and Organizational Development,” he says.

Popp came to VSU after earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia College and State University in 2019. He anticipates earning a Master of Science in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from VSU in July.

Popp serves as president of VSU’s chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, an organization that provides educational, networking, professional development, volunteering, and mentorship opportunities for students who are working towards careers as human resource professionals. He mentors three first-year graduate students, providing them the guidance, motivation, and support needed for success, and collaborates often with the Society for Human Resource Management Jacksonville.

Earlier this year Popp presented “Corporate Social Responsibility: Effects on Job Satisfaction, Effective Commitment, and Job Embeddedness” at the 2022 Southeastern Psychological Association annual conference.

“Nathan presents himself in a professional manner and juggles many responsibilities with great confidence,” Byrd says. “He has a great attitude and demonstrates a great interest in his work, as well as developing others.”

Popp’s commitment to academic, leadership, research, and service excellence earned him an invitation to share his expertise as a member of the Emerging Professional Panel at the 2022 Society for Human Resource Management Regional Council Business Meeting.

Popp will spend the summer participating in a learning and development internship. After graduation he hopes “to continue on that path professionally and go into selection, assessment, and development consulting,” he says.

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