Awards and Achievements

2021 Award Recipients

Tina Veal 

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Tina (Burgland) Veal

A 1992 graduate of Carl Sandburg College, Tina (Burgland) Veal has dedicated her career to developing opportunities for young people to explore agricultural and STEM fields as well as building lifelong relationships for those already in them.

Veal served as the first female president of the Sandburg Ag Club, and after earning her associate degree, she went on to earn her bachelor’s in agriculture education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993 and then a master’s from UIUC in 2001.

An alumna of Knox County’s 4-H program, Veal served as the 4-H youth development educator for McLean County from 1994-2006, spent 14 years as the alumni director of UIUC’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and is now the Illinois 4-H alumni and constituent engagement manager, where she helps develop and maintain supportive connections between the club and its past members.

The Costa Catholic Academy and Galesburg High School graduate has been heavily involved with the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association (NAADA) for many years, serving in multiple leadership positions. In addition to being the McLean County 4-H leader since 2010, Veal has been active with several other civic organizations, including PEO International; the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, for which she served as the Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant director on six occasions; the University of Illinois Leadership Center; the McLean County Conflict Resolution Committee; March of Dimes; and Optimist Club of Bloomington.


Cassandra Sherwin

Young Alumnus Award

Cassandra Sherwin

Upon graduating from Carl Sandburg College in 2014, Cassandra Sherwin set off for the bright lights of Hollywood, studying at the prestigious University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Sherwin earned her bachelor’s from the famed film school in 2016 and quickly gained employment in her field of study as a facilities monitor at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

Sherwin went on to work as a development intern at Permut Presentations, as an assistant at Cloud Nine Productions and as assistant to the executive vice president of television at Rideback, a Los Angeles-based movie and TV studio. While at Rideback, she supported the executive VP and staff in pre-production on the CW series “Walker” as well as Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Sherwin currently works as a reader for Miramax TV, where she summarizes, analyzes and grades materials sent to studio executives, assisting them in making decisions on whether a film project is worth pursuing.

Away from the studio, Sherwin has advocated for equal rights, civil justice and other causes through petition work and marches for Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March and LA’s March for Our Lives. She also has volunteered at Los Angeles homeless shelters and has worked to raise funds for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in memory of a friend she lost to suicide as well as continued support for Same You and Planned Parenthood.

At Sandburg, Sherwin was an officer in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, was the College’s All-Illinois Academic Team member for 2013-14 and participated in several art, theater and choir activities during her time as a student.


Nominations are now open. 

Please follow the links below to fill out your nomination form. All nominations may be turned into the Foundation Office or emailed to


Distinguished Alumnus Award
Nominees must -

  • have completed a degree or certificate from Carl Sandburg College
  • demonstrate notable achievements in career field
  • demonstrate specific philanthropic or public service activity that supports the community and/or College
  • have achieved recognition at a national level
  • provide inspirational impact or significance
  • have continued interest in and support of education and community colleges

Nomination form: Alumni-Giving/Alumni-Awards/nomination-form1.docx

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Nominees must -

  • have completed a degree or certificate within the last 10 years from Carl Sandburg College 
  • demonstrate outstanding professional achievement in career field

Nomination form: Young Alumni Nomination Form


Distinguished Service Award

This award serves to recognize leadership within the college community, excellence in performing the tasks required by the position held at the college, service in organizations outside the college community, humility, and sincere effort in self-growth. Retirees and past employees are eligible for nomination.


Nomination form: Alumni-Giving/Alumni-Awards/nomination-form.docx


Please call 309.341.5349 if you have questions or for more information about the awards and nomination requirements.