Lt. Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department will be honored posthumously Tuesday as part of UCF’s Public Service Recognition Week celebration that annually recognizes exceptional public administration alumni and public service community leaders.

Seth Clayton, the officer’s husband, will accept a plaque at the ceremony on her behalf that honors her work as a public servant. Clayton graduated from UCF in 1998 with an undergraduate degree in public administration, and again in 2002 with a master’s degree in criminal justice. She was killed in the line of duty Jan. 9 in Orlando during an attempted apprehension of a wanted homicide suspect.

The awards ceremony will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. and hosted by the UCF School of Public Administration, the UCF College of Health and Public Affairs, and the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. It is open to the public at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.

“We established an annual celebration of Public Service Recognition Week at UCF to honor exemplary leaders from our local and state governments, public service agencies, and nonprofits,” said Naim Kapucu, director of the School of Public Administration.

Others receiving honors are:

  • Christopher Castro, UCF class of ‘10 and director of sustainability for Orlando, will receive the chapter’s Young Public Service Professional Award
  • Barbara Jenkins, UCF class of ’83 and superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, will receive the chapter’s Exemplary Public Service Leadership for a Non-Elected Official Award
  • Mary Jane Arrington, UCF class of ’78 and supervisor of elections for Osceola County, will receive the chapter’s Exemplary Public Service Leadership for an Elected Official Award
  • The City of Orlando also will be given the chapter’s Exemplary Public Service Organization Award for its response to the Pulse nightclub shootings in June. Police Chief John Mina and Chief Administration Officer Byron Brooks are expected to attend.

    Additionally, UCF will present Alumni Achievement Awards to five graduates who have become leaders in various areas of public administration, including nonprofit management, urban and regional planning, research administration, and emergency management and homeland security.

    Public Service Recognition Week has been celebrated across the country in May since 1985. This is the fourth Public Service Leadership Awards ceremony held at UCF.

    For more information, contact Jessica Schwendeman at or Karen Guin at