strong>JUDGE 1:


Dr. Michael Dickman

Dr. Michael Dickman earned a B.S. in General Studies at Southeast Missouri State University in 1982, followed by an M.A. in Speech Communication at Wichita State University in 1985. He joined the faculty of Cumberland College in 1993 and, while teaching full time and directing the Forensics Team, he began work on a doctorate in Philosophy of Communication at Southern Illinois University, successfully defending his thesis in 1997.

Dr. Dickman has been honored with awards for his work with students in competitive debate. In 1988, he was named Top Debate Coach at Duke University, and in 1996 he was recognized as Top Debate Critic at a tournament at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. He has served as Vice President for the Kentucky Forensics Association and is presently a member of the National Communication Association.


Herring, Gina_2011

Dr. Gina Herring

Honored by Billboard Magazine as one of the most dedicated and long time listeners to the top forty play-list,  UC’s own Gina Herring (Dr. Diva) got her start in the music business singing along with the heroes of rock in front of  her bedroom mirror and performing regularly at preteen sleep-overs and birthday parties.  But it was her attention to the musical nuances and showbiz strategies of  Dick Clark’s American Bandstand that gave her a critical edge in the competitive music industry.  Although briefly captivated by gimicky acts like “The Monkees” and “The Partridge Family,” Herring recognized early the power of danceable music, slick     choreography, gold lame, big hair, and sex appeal.  Her rendition of Diana Ross’s “You Keep Me Hanging On” won her first place in her high school talent show,  only the first big moment in a career that led to a weekly gig as female singer for “Desperate Measures,” a graduate English Department cover band.  “She’s a really cool teacher, although a rabid feminist” said a local reviewer, “but I find her cover of  “I’m Every Woman” truly inspirational.”   Although she misses performing (especially the groupies), Herring claims that her true gift is in discovering and nurturing talent, along with crushing the dreams of those who “can’t carry a tune in a bucket” or “try to shift the spotlight from me.”  And she’s conversant in all musical styles, having followed the tabloid scandals of everyone from Janis Joplin to Amy Winehouse.  Since her taste tends to outsized musical personalities like Elvis, Aretha, and Dolly Parton, Herring is all about artifice, illusion, and performance.  But “soul,” she says, “can’t be faked.”   Herring may have given up her turntable and 45s for the sophistication of  YouTube, but “it’s still her party.”   She can make you or break you, so if you want to see yourself on the cover of  The Patriot, sing your song for  UC’s  “diva professor.”


Judge 3

Megan Hinkle

  • Originally from Northern Ohio, but a Whitley County and University of the Cumberlands graduate.
  • Began singing at a very young age and received my first guitar on my 5th birthday.
  • Was heavily influenced by my late grandfather, who just passed away in October, and my father.
  • Other musical influences include Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Adele, Alabama Shakes, Norah Jones, Gavin Degraw, The Steeldrivers, Allison Kraus, The Civil Wars, The Isaacs
  • Always felt music as a strong calling and treasured gift from God whether it be singing, writing or playing guitar or piano.
  • Music Director at my church, Brays Chapel Church of God
  • Married my best friend, Will, one week after graduation and we are the proud parents of our Porkie (Pomeranian-Yorkie), Cocoa. J
  • Currently have a Bachelors in Music, but in the process of applying to the University of Louisville for a Music Therapy Certification.


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