top of page


The name COURAGE to ENLIGHTEN for a business may seem ambiguous and esoteric, but as my son, Riley Workman, who crafted this name insightfully pointed out, it accurately captures my personal philosophy and approach to life. This approach is characterized by an insatiable curiosity and need to follow the less (or un-)trodden path. To venture into the unknown, to follow one’s own interests, even though--and especially when--that path runs contrary to the expected norm, takes courage and confidence. However, the light one generates and shines into the darkness has the power to not only illuminate one’s own way but also to bring enlightenment to others through the knowledge gained by going beyond the margins. The glowing sailing ship logo is a nod to my dissertation research, which focused on the seventeenth-century Puritan emigrants who struck out into the vast unknown, across dark and dangerous waters, with courage and fortitude searching for enlightenment and a better life.
My educational and professional paths have always skirted the margins as I have sought answers to questions others in my fields have not considered. I hold a B.A. in English and Education, an M.A. in Folklore and Mythology, and a PhD in Anthropology (Cultural Heritage Studies with an Archaeology emphasis). The common thread running through this serpentine educational trek is the interest in people’s beliefs and stories of spiritual or preternatural beings, which has led me to my specialized area of research: the archaeology of ritual, religion, and magic, particularly the material expressions of these beliefs. My dissertation, Silent Sentinels: Archaeology, Magic, and the Gendered Control of Domestic Boundaries in New England, 1620-1725, won the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Kathleen Kirk Gilmore Dissertation Award in 2016. My archaeological field work has focused primarily on historical and cemetery sites, but I also work with a range of prehistoric sites and artifacts through my curatorial position. I currently serve on the governor-appointed Montana State Historic Preservation Review Board to actively engage in state-wide efforts to preserve all aspects of the historical record.
hourglass gif.gif
I have been the curator for the University of Montana’s Anthropological Collections Facility (UMACF) and adjunct Anthropology professor since 2014. Prior to that, I taught for 10 years at Flathead Valley Community College and at several secondary schools. University courses online and face-to-face I have taught include:
  • Myth, Ritual, and Religion
  • Comparative Mythology
  • Balinese Mythology
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Artifact Analysis
  • Archaeological Survey
  • Archaeological Wonders of the World
  • Archaeological Theory
  • Anthropological Museology
  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Population and Culture
  • Perspectives in the Social Sciences
  • Public Speaking
  • Interpersonal Communication
I have been a guest lecturer and conference presenter on numerous anthropological, archaeological, and educational topics for over twenty years both nationally and internationally, and have several academic publications to my credit in these fields.
As a result of the copious reading I do in my research pursuits, I have come to realize the importance of well-constructed book indexes, and the unfortunate poor quality of many of these indexes in professional and academic works. To do my part to rectify this state of affairs, I received training in professional book indexing and am a member of the American Society for Indexing. Through Courage to Enlighten, PLLC, I offer the following services: Indexing (Professional back-of-the book indexing); Research and Consultation (Anthropological and Archaeological Research, Historical Artifact Analysis, Guest Lecturing and Teaching, Publication Reviewing, Curriculum Development and Assessment, and Academic Conference Organizing); and the Material Culture of Magic (MCM) Database
(Clearinghouse database for the recordation of magical material culture finds). 
bottom of page