The Cornhuskin’ judging panel this year was made up of five judges, three of whom are faculty members on Meredith’s campus. This year’s faculty member judges were Dr. Jina Yoo an adjunct, Jennifer Glass, Assistant Director of International Programs and Michael Altman, Program Director & Instructor, Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Dr. Jina Yoo teaches public speaking and was encouraged to participate in judging Cornhuskin’ by one of her students. She expressed that “being fairly new to Meredith” she did not know much about the tradition and felt unsure about whether she was “qualified to be a judge.” Despite her uncertainty, she “was more than happy to serve” as a judge on this year’s panel and enjoyed being a part of the tradition. Dr. Yoo felt that the scoring process was “comprehensive and meticulous, making it easy to follow” as someone who was new to Corn. Since it was her first time participating in Cornhuskin’ she had no previous involvement to compare this to, but shares that it did not take away from her experience this year. Dr. Yoo described how she “had an absolute blast at Corn” and found it “heartwarming” to see the excitement of her students in response to her being one of the judges. Watching Cornhuskin’ this year was a “proud moment” for her since she got to see the progress of some of her students and experience the overall “passion and enthusiasm” they had going in.
This year was also Jennifer Glass’ “first time experiencing Cornhuskin’ in person,” and after learning that another staff/faculty judge was needed she chose to volunteer as a judge to “support the Meredith community.” Since this was her first time experiencing Corn, Glass was excited to hear about the “important changes and new additions” to the tradition to make it more inclusive and accessible. During her experience, she “enjoyed getting to know the other judges” and took the opportunity to learn from the Alumnae about how Corn is “constantly changing.” Glass explains how Cornhuskin’ is never the same since it “evolves to reflect the interests and values of each new class.” She expressed how much she enjoyed experiencing “the imagination, the fun, the magic, the artistry and the sense of community” that students brought to this year’s Cornhuskin’. Glass went as far as describing the “special buzz” in the amphitheater as the students entered and felt that it was “an honor to get to be there” and take part in the tradition.
Michael Altman, part of the hospitality and tourism industry, was another one of the faculty members who decided to volunteer as a judge for this year’s Cornhuskin’. This year was not Altman’s first time experiencing Corn, as he attended in 2019 and 2022 and “absolutely loved it.” During his time at Meredith, he describes having “organized and attended many events and performances” and volunteered to serve as a judge out of his love for the Cornhuskin’ tradition. When asked about what he enjoys about Cornhuskin’ from previous experiences Altman explained that he feels “it brings out the best” of the Meredith community. He says that the tradition “shows amazing spirit, creativity and camaraderie” from the classes and feels that the students are all brave for their participation. His favorite things about this year’s Cornhuskin’ were “of course… the dances/skits” since he often attends other dance performances on campus. Along with the dances and skits, Altman also enjoyed the class songs and Corn-A-Gram interludes.
Each of the judges talked of having enjoyed their experience at this year’s Cornhuskin’ and being able to see the students’ creativity and enthusiasm for the event. Thefaculty judges for this year’s Cornhuskin’ shared similar sentiments regarding the sense of community built by the students through their participation in the tradition. They also expressed a common theme of acknowledgement for the students' display of passion and bravery throughout their performances and shared similar sentiments about being able to participate in it
themselves as judges.
By Elaina Irving, Contributing Writer