Kenneth J. Levit Receives OSU-CHS Distinguished Public Service Award

DISTINGUISHED MEN: Howard Barnett, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU-Tulsa, with Kenneth J. Levit, recipient of the OSU Center for Health Sciences Distinguished Public Service Award.

Photo courtesy OSU Health Schiences

TULSA, Okla. – Kenneth J. Levit, executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa, received the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences 2010 Distinguished Public Service Award at commencement ceremonies May 14.

Howard G. Barnett Jr., president of Center for Health Sciences and OSU-Tulsa, presented the award, which is given for achievement in the following areas: development of medical education so as to embody the highest standards of excellence and dedicated teaching; improvements in health care for the community, state and nation; and for advancement of ideals that contribute to building a better society.

Prior to taking on his leadership role at the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Levit served as president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa from 2001-06, where he also served as the system senior vice president.

From early 1998 through 2000, Levit was special counsel to George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He advised the director on a variety of issues including technology policy, declassification of historical records and the Middle East peace process.

Levit practiced corporate law at Crowe and Dunlevy in Tulsa from 1995-98.

A Tulsa native and graduate of Holland Hall, Levit earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1994 where he was also senior editor of the Yale Law Journal.  Prior to law school, he worked as press secretary to Senator David Boren in Washington D.C. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1987.

Levit is married to Janet Koven Levit. They have a son, Nathan, and a daughter, Rebecca.

A total of 82 graduates received Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degrees from the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Graduate degrees in forensics and biomedical sciences also were conferred. OSU-CHS offers programs in osteopathic medicine, biomedical sciences and forensic sciences.

OSU-CHS offers programs in osteopathic medicine, biomedical sciences and forensic sciences, with an emphasis on preparing physicians for rural and under-served Oklahoma. Osteopathic medical schools emphasize training students to be primary care physicians.

Providing physicians to rural and under-served Oklahoma is core to the college’s mission.

More than 2,400 osteopathic physicians have graduated from the college since 1977. Currently, more than half of OSU Medicine graduates remain in active practice in Oklahoma; 21 percent in communities of fewer than 10,000 residents and 16 percent in communities of fewer than 7,500 residents.

OSU-CHS offers eight graduate level degrees (D.O., Ph.D. and M.S.) including osteopathic medicine, forensic sciences, biomedical sciences, and natural and applied sciences-health care administration. More information is available at

Updated 06-16-2010

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