Departments: The Board

  • Sparrow is a euro-looking woman with hazel eyes and salt-and-pepper hair. She's smiling, looking directly at you, and sitting in front of a poster which is a graphic blues and greens depiction of the Julia Set, a numerical concept related to fractals. Her shawl is hand-knit in the shape of a maple leaf, and if you'd like a link to the pattern, I'd be happy to share that with you.

    Sparrow F. Alden

    Sparrow graduated from Bowdoin College in 1986 with a BA in English Literature and Psychology and from Signum University in 2015 with an MA in Language and Literature.  She is co-owner/builder of a straw bale cabin in the New Hampshire woods with her wife Grace; they are grateful for the technology which keeps them in touch […]

  • Peter Rybski

    Peter Rybski

    Peter is a lifelong Tolkien fan who has spent more than twenty years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Engineer. Peter is a graduate of the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program and has a BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old […]

  • Maximilian Hart

    Maximilian Hart

    Maximilian Hart is in his final year of MA studies at Signum University. His academic work is currently focused on the language-based magic of C.S. Lewis and Ursula K. Le Guin. When he’s not reading books for class or his own high school students’ papers, he’s spending time with his wife and children or pretending […]

  • Matthew M. DeForrest

    Dr. Matthew M. DeForrest is Interim Director of the Edward E. Crutchfield Center for Integrated Studies and Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). His recent published works have appeared in The Yeats Journal of Korea, The Yeats Annual, W. B. Yeats’s A Vision: Explications and Contexts, and Tolkien Studies. His recent presentations […]

  • Liza H. Gold

    Liza H. Gold, MD is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Gold has a private practice in general and forensic psychiatry in Arlington, Virginia and is an award winning author and editor. Most recently, Dr. Gold edited and contributed to Gun Violence and Mental Illness (American Psychiatric Publishing, […]

  • Larry Swain

    Larry Swain

    Larry Swain used to work in IT and libraries after receiving his B.A. in Religion-Greek and Linguistics. After 15 years, he earned an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University and then a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His academic work focuses on early medieval preservation and […]

  • Edward T. Powell

    Ed is a member of the Board of Directors and assists the Signum community as both the Curator of Computational Complexities and the Coordinator of the Mythgard Academy lecture series. Ed has a BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MA and PhD in Astrophysics with a concentration in Plasma Physics and Controlled […]

  • Corey Olsen's snow white beard and glasses might hint at his serious academic standing... but there's no way to hide that grin of delight, discovery and adventure. He's clad in dark colors before a dark background, but his eyes are shining.

    Corey Olsen

    Dr. Corey Olsen is the President of Signum University and Mythgard Institute. In addition to teaching classes on J.R.R. Tolkien, Chaucer, and modern fantasy literature for Signum, Dr. Olsen has extended the concept of the digital classroom to include non-traditional outlets. Through the Mythgard Academy, he offers free weekly lectures on works of speculative fiction […]

  • A man of European decent is delivering a talk with a sheaf of notes in his hand. He's ignoring the notes, however, and he has wandered away from the podium. He leans in toward the audience with a look of excitement such as he probably had when he was discovering a new cool book at the library as a small boy.

    Andrew Higgins

    Dr. Andrew Higgins received a PhD in 2015 from Cardiff Metropolitan University. His PhD thesis ‘The Genesis of Tolkien’s Mythology’ explored the first major expression of Tolkien’s mythology The Book of Lost Tales materials, with a specific emphasis on the interrelated nature of myth and language in Tolkien’s earliest world-building. He has currently just completed […]