College of Arts and Sciences announces Outstanding Alumni Carlton Paylor

Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences announces its 2019-20 Outstanding Alumni award winner as Carlton Paylor ’96. Paylor was a student-athlete at Appalachian and graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. He has led a distinguished career that has focused on helping people in emotional and economic distress in his home community of Person County.

His nominator stated, "Carlton maintains a professional, impartial and appreciative work ethic while holding his employees accountable to the many and changing policies of their respective jobs. He leads by example."

Since graduating, Paylor has continually served his community through various service roles – as a probation and parole officer, a juvenile court counselor, child protective services investigator, a mental health case manager, a Department of Social Services case manager – eventually leading to his current role as the Director of Person County Department of Social Services. Through the delivery of preventive and restorative programs, Paylor works to assist and protect the vulnerable: children, adults, the blind, the disabled and the sick.

“His CV is a running list of professional and volunteer activities that demonstrate selfless service to others such as serving on local community boards, local food pantries and local race relations groups in addition to his professional activities,”  said Dr. Michael Madritch, chair of the Outstanding Alumni Award committee and associate dean in the college.

Paylor participates in a local organization called "BASICs," an acronym for Brothers and Sisters in Conversations. This group meets regularly to bring people of different races together to improve race relations through candid conversations about issues that separate them. And he has a vested interest in the community as a father of two teenagers who are active in school and their church. 

Paylor’s job is not easy advocating for those among us that are most vulnerable and are often in difficult situations. A quote from his nomination package acknowledged: "His duties are unbelievably numerous; and, he has the heart for performing them, motivated by a sincere desire to help the many people who are in need in a particularly poor county. The Person County Health Department Director Janet Clayton often speaks about how the Department of Social Services and the Health Department work well together, largely due to the cooperative spirit that Carlton brings to the table."

The college outstanding alumni award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their remarkable contributions to a profession, through their ability to provide leadership, through public service activities, through outstanding creative endeavors or through other accomplishments.


About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

By Ellen Gwin Burnette
Nov. 20, 2020

Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences 2019-20 Outstanding Alumni award winner Carlton Paylor ’96, current Director of Person County Department of Social Services. Photo submitted.
Published: Nov 20, 2020 9:53am