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Student earns prestigious award from FBI group

July 02, 2009

Martin Popov may one day save your life.

Incoming Arizona State University student Popov recently earned a prestigious scholarship from FBI National Academy Associates that will help achieve his goal of working with law enforcement agencies to provide national security.

The nonprofit international organization of senior law enforcement professionals gives this award to only 1 to 2 percent of applicants nationwide.

FBI National Academy Associates is recognized globally among government leaders, law enforcement agencies and communities as the premier provider of law enforcement expertise, training, education and information.

Popov will start undergraduate courses this fall in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at ASU's College of Public Programs on the Downtown Phoenix campus.  

"The FBI scholarship is among the most prestigious honors available to a student in our field," says Scott Decker, director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "Students who are awarded this scholarship have a combination of academic excellence and commitment to the field. We are proud of Martin's accomplishments and look forward to his career with federal law enforcement."

Popov says, "I've always believed that protecting the people has to be a high priority of any individual who is part of a community that faces many challenges as a result of globalization and constant threat of terrorism. At ASU, I would most like to focus on different types of crimes that endanger the American public and the international interest of the U.S. as well as learning specific techniques necessary to fight these crimes."

Popov, who is 22, speaks fluent Bulgarian, Russian and English. He was born in Bulgaria and came to America five years ago to pursue a career in the FBI. Popov was inspired at an early age by his father, a senior lieutenant from the Bulgarian army, who served two United Nations military peacekeeping missions in Asia and has been recognized with a diploma and medal for his distinguished service with the U.N.

"He showed me that discipline is extremely important, and that motivation, patience, and self-reliance are crucial factors necessary to keep your mind focused over assigned tasks," Popov says.

Popov recently received an Arizona General Education Curriculum-Arts certificate from Phoenix College. He earned a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice merges theory with practice in areas such as the nature of crime, theories of crime, criminal justice system responses and problem-solving techniques. Its faculty includes some of the world's foremost experts on topics such as policing, juvenile justice, gangs, drugs, criminological theory, victimization, and corrections. Graduates of the School can be found in all facets of the criminal justice system.

For information about the School, visit