Dr. Wightman received a BA in history and anthropology from Miami University of Ohio, an MA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma.

After completing her doctorate in May 2009, Dr. Wightman joined the faculty at Mary Baldwin College in August 2009. Dr. Wightman has researched and written about the culture and history of Oklahoma, gender, kinship, and culture change in Native American communities, photography and anthropology, and the lived experiences of marginalization in Native communities and beyond. In her spare time, Dr. Wightman likes hanging out with her family and friends, reading, listening to music, traveling, watching college football, skiing, kayaking, and cooking.