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Two College Alumni Die in the Line of Duty

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Jan. 9, 2017, was a day of tragedy for both the law enforcement community and the UCF community.

Two local law enforcement officers who were graduates of the College of Health and Public Affairs died in the line of duty.

Debra (Durgins) Clayton, a master sergeant with the Orando Police Department, and Norman Lewis, a deputy first class with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, were killed during the pursuit of a wanted homicide suspect.

Clayton was shot and killed while attempting to arrest the suspect in the early morning. She was a 17-year veteran of the OPD, a mother and a newlywed. She earned her bachelor's degree in public administration in 1998 and her master's degree in criminal justice in 2002. She was known widely for her strong commitment to her community, including her work with Parramore Kidz Zone and the Urban League's anti-violence task force.

Lewis was killed in a traffic accident about two hours later while helping to search for the suspect. He joined the OCSO in 2005 and served as a member of the motors/DUI unit. He was a member of the UCF football team and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2004. He was well-known, well-liked and affectionally referred to as "Big Norm" by many.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking," said Catherine Kaukinen, chair and professor of criminal justice at UCF. "They had dedicated their lives to protecting and serving, and their loss is profoundly felt here in the department and college. We extend our deepest condolences to their families." 

Debra Clayton
Master Sergeant Debra (Durgins) Clayton
'98, '02
Norman Lewis
Deputy First Class Norman Lewis '04

Slain Orlando Police Officer Debra Clayton Was an 'an Angel,' Friend Says - Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 9, 2017

Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis Remembered As a Gentle Giant - Orlando  Sentinel, Jan. 9, 2017





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Mentioned : Catherine Kaukinen


The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— Michael Neimann M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— Jamie Dyson Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— Deborah Reith Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— Richard "Ben" Hagen Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
— Carlos Gual Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13) 
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