BOONE, N.C. — Bayley Plummer ’19, a recent graduate of Appalachian State University’s B.S. in criminal justice program from Thomasville, may have found her path to Appalachian through an athletic scholarship, but her love of the school and the Appalachian Community — which “feels like home,” she said — has led to her many successes both on and off the basketball court.
This summer, Plummer, who completed her bachelor’s degree early, began her studies in Appalachian’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, which she aims to complete in the spring of 2021. She will also complete an internship this summer with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Plummer’s decision to major in criminal justice was inspired by her grandfather. “My grandpa was in law enforcement, and this area of study always sparked my interest,” she said. “I also am very fond of the idea of serving and helpings others, which is directly related to the field of law enforcement.”
Her interests in public service led her to apply for the Appalachian Police Officer Development Program (APDP). Since being accepted into the program, the center/forward for the Mountaineers women’s basketball team has kept a fast-paced schedule, juggling her part-time security work as a police cadet, her academic commitments and her athletic pursuits.
“We’re pleased to have Bayley as a member of our Public Safety Team,” said Andy Stephenson, Appalachian’s director of public safety and chief of police. “She is extremely successful, both academically and athletically, and her tremendous work ethic is contagious. Should she choose policing as her career, I have no doubt that she will have a significant, positive impact in the community.”
“The APDP program allows me to get one step ahead … I hope to become a state trooper for the North Carolina Highway Patrol and one day work for federal law enforcement,” Plummer said. “The program has also permitted me to build connections and relationships with members of the Appalachian Community.
“I was introduced to (C.) Philip Byers, who currently sits on the (University of North Carolina) Board of Governors and who also served as a former sheriff. He has provided useful knowledge and connections in the field of law enforcement and I am grateful for our relationship,” she added.
Angel Elderkin, head coach of the Appalachian women’s basketball team, said Plummer’s academic and athletic achievements stand out in addition to her desire to be of service to others.
“She played an integral role in the WBI (Women’s Basketball Invitational) championship. On the court, she anchors our defense with her elite ability to rebound the basketball, all while maintaining a 3.9 cumulative GPA,” Elderkin said. “Most important, Bayley has impacted the community with her work as an APDP cadet.”
When she graduates with her MPA, Plummer is likely to become the first APDP cadet to earn a master’s degree. She will also remain committed to a demanding schedule as a successful student-athlete while completing her first year of graduate studies — 2019–20 will be her last season with the Mountaineers, she said.
When asked what comes next after she completes her graduate degree, Plummer said she hopes to work for federal law enforcement, possibly with the FBI or Secret Service.
“As a sworn officer, I will be in close contact with more citizens and members of society, so I am excited for the new relationships that will be built,” she said. “I hope I can use my profession to build relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Next summer, Plummer plans to complete the Appalachian Police Academy and earn her North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) credentials to become a sworn police officer.
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About the Department of Government and Justice Studies
Appalachian State University’s Department of Government and Justice Studies offers undergraduate programs in political science and criminal justice, and graduate programs in political science and public administration. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the department has over 600 undergraduate majors and more than 70 graduate students. Learn more at https://gjs.appstate.edu.
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 https://cas.appstate.edu.
About the Appalachian State University Police Department
The Appalachian State University Police Department supports the university’s academic mission by working in partnership with the campus community to prevent crime, solve problems and improve the quality of life on campus. The department’s philosophy is one of proactive community engagement, collaboration and customer service, holding the safety and health of Appalachian’s community members as its top priorities. State-certified police officers, security officers and civilian employees comprise the department, and this team of professionals helps to create and maintain an inclusive sense of belonging for all members of the Appalachian Community — students, faculty, staff and visitors. Additionally, through its efforts, the department aims to be a leader in innovative public safety ideas and strategies. Learn more at https://police.appstate.edu.
About Mountaineer Athletics
More than 450 student-athletes compete in 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports at Appalachian State University, 10 for men and 10 for women. Appalachian was a dominant force in the Southern Conference for more than 40 years before joining the Sun Belt Conference in July 2014 — one of 10 conferences that are members of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Mountaineer football team claimed back-to-back 10-win seasons and bowl victories in 2015 and 2016, providing a catalyst for comprehensive excellence to grow across all Appalachian sports while competing at the highest levels of college athletics. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu/athletics.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.