Meet the Staff

Keith Garbutt, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Botany
101 Old Central

Keith Garbutt is Dean of The Honors College and a full professor of Plant Biology at Oklahoma State University.

Garbutt received both his B.Sc. [Hons.] and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wales, UK. In 1980 he came to the US and did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and at Harvard University before moving to West Virginia University in 1987 as an assistant professor. Shortly after receiving tenure in 1993 he became Chair of the Department of Biology, a position he held until 2000. In 2000 Garbutt's work in innovation in undergraduate education led to his being named the Eberly Family Distinguished Professor for Outstanding Teaching. As a botanist Garbutt's work focuses in the main on population biology, eco-physiology and genetics of plants; his research has been supported by awards from NSF, USDA, EPA, and other external sources.

In 2000 Garbutt was appointed Director of the Honors Program at WVU. In 2006 the WVU Board of Governors approved the creation of the Honors College and Garbutt was named Dean. At WVU each residence hall has a faculty member, known as the Resident Faculty Leader, who lives either in an apartment in the hall or in a house adjacent to it. Garbutt and his wife elected to be the resident faculty for Honors Hall and served as Resident Faculty from 2009-2014. In this position they offered academic and cultural programs to the students and provided (in the secular sense) pastoral support to the students.

Since becoming a full-time administrator his scholarly concerns have moved to issues of education and Honors administration. He has written and presented on issues such as the impact of merit aid on socioeconomic diversity, support for first-generation students and student leadership. His most recent publication is, "The Other Culture: Science and Mathematics Education in Honors," in 2012, an NCHC monograph edited with Ellen B. Buckner. Garbutt also serves as the Chair of the National Collegiate Honors Council Science and Mathematics Committee.



Jessica Roark
Assistant Director
104 Old Central
Jessica joined the Honors College staff in 2004 and now serves as Assistant Director. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, and a Master of Arts Degree in English with a specialization in Literature, all from Oklahoma State University. She is an active member of the National Collegiate Honors Council: She has served as co-chair of the Honors Advising Committee, as co-chair of "Developing in Honors," a workshop for honors administrators, faculty, and professional staff at the national conference, and as a member of National Conference Planning Committees since 2008. She is also a professional member of NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising.

In 2010 she was approved by the NCHC Board of Directors as one of NCHC's Program Reviewers, a group of honors professionals who serve as external reviewers of other institutions' honors programs and honors colleges. In 2014 she was named Fellow of the NCHC, a title earned by distinguished service to honors education with criteria that includes scholarly activities related to honors education; NCHC, regional, or state honors organization leadership; and a demonstrated record of sustained commitment to honors education.  She is also a Past President of the Great Plains Honors Council, one of the regional divisions of NCHC. Jessica is thrilled to be a part of the OSU Honors College staff, and she is committed to helping current honors students make the most of the educational opportunities available to them.

Erica Burns
Honors Academic Counselor
101 Old Central

Erica Burns joined The Honors College staff in December 2013. She earned an Honors College Degree in Art History from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Arts in Children's Literature from Roehampton University in London, England. She plans to complete a PhD in Education from OSU in 2014.

As an undergraduate, Erica participated in an Oxford study abroad experience taught by OSU's first Rhodes Scholar. The experience sparked her interest in international education and after graduation she was awarded one of two International Scholarships from Roehampton University in London. Erica has served as an academic advisor, a middle school humanities teacher, and a public school principal. She has taught courses at OSU for the College of Education and the Spears School of Business. She loves working with Honors College students and enjoys sharing in their excitement and success.


Ebonie Hill-Williamson
Honors Academic Counselor
101 Old Central

Ebonie joined The Honors College in January 2010. She attended OSU as an undergraduate where she earned an Honors College Degree in Public Relations. After graduation, she served as an admissions counselor in Undergraduate Admissions at OSU. Ebonie is excited to be a part of The Honors College and is dedicated to helping students achieve academic success.

CIndy Lane
Honors Academic Counselor
101 Old Central

Cindy joined The Honors College in January 2015. She attended OSU and earned an Honors College Degree in Mathematics. While an undergraduate at OSU, she served as a Resident Advisor with Housing and Residential Life and as an Ambassador for The Honors College. Cindy is glad to be back at OSU and to have the opportunity to work with honors students.