Principles-driven people for principles-based change.

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We die and become fertilizer. This isn't a sad view of the world, just rational. And if you love nature like I do, becoming part of the cycle of life (think a sunlit tree sycamore tree at a creek's edge or a blooming fiery pink peony) is a beautiful thing. There's no need to want for anything more. No need for religion or a belief in something bigger than myself. The world is beautiful, has order that can be explained by science, and makes sense.

That was me, age 13 to 36. Tragedy broke me open on September 29, 2010 and I learned that there is so much more. It huge, gorgeous, magical. This blog is me now, Nora F. Murphy, former skeptic and spreadsheet lover, learning what to do with my new awareness, figuring out how to live a spirit guided life, and become whole. Waking Lumina has grown out of this seeking.



We create transformative, resilient new realities by becoming transformed, resilient people.
— Becoming Wise (pg. 5), Krista Tippett
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about nora f. murphy



PhD                 Evaluation Studies, January 2014

University of Minnesota, College of Human Development and Education, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development


M.A.                Research Methodology, May 2005

School of Education, Department of Psychology in Education, University of Pittsburgh


B.A.                 Major: Studies in Education, Minor: Biology, May 1996

Earlham College, with College and Departmental Honors, Phi Beta Kappa



Patton, M. Q. and Murphy, N.F. (October 2015). “Embracing Complexity in Evaluation”, Omaha, NE. Evaluation Network for the Missouri River Basin Annual Conference 


Patton, M. Q. and Murphy, N.F. (March 2015). “Wicked Problems: Developmental Evaluation in a Social Justice Context”, St. Paul, MN. Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute.


Murphy, N.F., Huseby, H. and Thompson, M. (October 2014). “Determining Evidence-Based Principles and Incorporating Them Organizationally”, St. Paul, MN. Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference.


Murphy, N.F. (October, 2014). “Listening to stories of struggle and hope: Generating evidenced-based guiding principles for helping youth overcome homelessness”, Denver, CO. American Evaluation Association.


Murphy, Nora. F. (December 2017) Principles-Focused Evaluation. 2-day workshop, TerraLuna Collaborative, Minneapolis, MN


Murphy, Nora. F.  (March 2017) Introduction to Developmental Evaluation: Purpose & Guiding Principles, 1-day workshop, Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute Spring Training, St. Paul, MN


Murphy, Nora F. and Johnson, Andy. (March 2017) Developmental Evaluation in Practice: Lessons Learned, Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute Spring Training, St. Paul, MN


Murphy, Nora F., McKegg, Kate, Wehipeihana, Nan. (March 2017) Beyond Developmental Evaluation 101 – Applying Developmental Evaluation Principles in Practice. Canadien Evaluaiton Society Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada