Student Success|

School of Health Sciences

icon of a calendarOctober 24

icon of a pencilBy Jennifer Hogan

Supporting the Future of Environmental Health and Safety

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Rob Hall

A pillar of the business community is putting safety first at Oakland University.

Edward Levy, Jr. and Linda Dresner have pledged $100,000 through the Edward C. and Linda Dresner Levy Foundation to the School of Health Sciences’ Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program. The gift will help fund a new curriculum designed to meet the unique needs of working professionals.

“OU is a wonderful community resource,” says Levy. “The quality of the academic experience in the EHS program is excellent, and we have encouraged our employees over the years to pursue their education there.”

Levy is the second generation majority owner of the Detroit-based, century old corporation, Edw. C. Levy Co., founded by his father, Edward C. Levy. The global industrial business provides a wide variety of products and services, including slag, natural aggregates, concrete, asphalt pavements, logistics, steel mill services and land development. According to Levy, the company puts the safety of its 2,500 employees first.

Edward Levy Jr, Kevin Ball and Malcom Dunbar posing for a photo
Edward Levy, Jr., (center), poses with Oakland’s School of Health Sciences Dean Kevin Ball, Ph.D., (left) and EHS Lecturer Malcom Dunbar CSP, MSSM (right).

“Our people are the priority,” says Levy. “My father set that example when he hired his first employee back in 1918, and we carry on that tradition today. He instilled in me the importance of providing a safe environment for employees so they can go home to their families at the end of the day.”

Since it was founded, the EHS program has graduated more than 500 alumni who are now employed at companies throughout Michigan and around the world, including The Levy Group of Companies. With an increasing demand for safety expertise, graduates of the program are in high demand and have a 90 percent employment rate upon graduation.

The new curriculum in EHS will offer modules for corporate organizations to easily offer employees courses for certification in a specified area, in a faster period, while also earning degree credit. According to Kevin Ball, Ph.D., dean of the OU School of Health Sciences, the funding allows for more online courses that meet the needs of today’s college students, working professionals and retired military personnel.

“This new course model will allow safety professionals to expand their knowledge and earn professional certifications while working towards a degree in environment health and safety,” says Ball. “We appreciate the longstanding support Mr. Levy and Ms. Dresner have demonstrated for our program and thank them for this extraordinary gift that will further enhance the success of our students.”

President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., echoed Ball’s sentiments, stating that the creative approach to curriculum will set a new standard for industry safety. 

"We are grateful to Mr. Levy and Ms. Dresner for their generous support for environment health and safety education," says Pescovitz. "Providing industry workers and leaders with knowledge and expertise are critical steps toward advancing the highest environmental and safety standards, and reflects how Oakland University is impacting our communities and industry through education."


Photo at top: Ryan Papiernik is a senior in OU’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program. Oakland is a renowned safety leader having established one of the nation’s first degree programs for EHS.

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