Do Something Extraordinary for Carl Sandburg College Nursing Students
"When women come together, extraordinary things happen." 

Choosing to pursue a career in nursing at Carl Sandburg College is more than just selecting a profession; it's joining a family. This sense of community - of family - doesn't begin on the floor or in the clinic. It starts long before that during study sessions, classroom discussions, and clinical rotations that nursing students experience together at Sandburg. Nearly 4,000 Sandburg nursing graduates have changed lives through research, education, practice, policy, and countless other ways as leaders in the profession and society. 

The Carl Sandburg College Foundation and Sandburg's College of Nursing have joined the national initiative 100 Extraordinary Women, engaging women to pledge their support toward nursing student success and Sandburg's new Science and Technology Center. Throughout this campaign, we will celebrate how nursing education at Sandburg has evolved through our first 56 years to meet changing health care needs and how we continuously strive to meet the ever-changing demands of nursing education and health care. 

We are asking a minimum of 100 women to each donate or pledge $1,000 over five years (approximately $200 per year or $16.67 per month).

Donors can make their payment in one amount, donate per year (we will send annual reminders), or make bimonthly gifts by credit card on the 100 Extraordinary women website Individuals may also group together to share their pledge, and anyone may give in honor or in memory of a special woman. 

As you consider a gift to the 100 Extraordinary Women-Nuses in Need campaign, envision the impact of your donation that helps remove educational barriers such as:

  • daycare costs and availability
  • reliable transportation and fuel prices
  • financial hardship related to the inability for students to work many hours during the program
  • initial textbook costs and fees for stethoscopes, uniforms, and clinical supplies

In addition, your commitment will assist with end-of-program costs like board fees and fingerprinting. 

Very soon, the College will break ground on a new multimillion-dollar Science and Technology Center that will serve as the centerpiece of the Main Campus in Galesburg. The building will house all health professions and include a simulation lab, skills labs, and collaborative classroom settings that are intended to provide up-to-date workforce learning. This environment will provide an area for both hands-on and theory learning to assist students in developing skills necessary for today's fast-paced healthcare environment, making it a one-stop shop for nursing students. 

Construction is estimated to be completed in the summer of 2024, in time to open for the 2024 fall semester. The name of every donor or every woman honored will be permanently listed in the College of Nursing as part of the new Science and Technology Center. To celebrate the power of this initiative, donors will be invited to take part in a hybrid celebration event this fall to recognize every participant. As you pledge your support, please note if you or the individual being recognized is a Sandburg graduate. 

To join the initiative or to give in honor of an extraordinary woman, visit the website:

You may also contact Dr. Emily Schaeffer, dean of nursing professions, at or 309.341.5253 or Eric Johnson, chief advancement officer, at or 309.341.5349 to donate or learn more. 

100 Extraordinary Women Testimonials

Susan Buck '12


What inspired you to pledge your support for the 100 Extraordinary Women nursing student success campaign? 

All the Carl Sandburg College women leaders changed my focus to education, which has led me to now work full-time educating future CNAs and RNs. We are all part of a wonderful world of women leaders, and I am proud to represent. I feel it is my duty to help pay it forward through this wonderful initiative of 100 Extraordinary Women. 

Please tell us more about your college/career pathway and/or describe the college/career pathway of the extraordinary woman you are honoring: 

My journey began when I first entered the doors of Carl Sandburg College in the summer of 1986 to start classes that fall. I was excited to begin this journey, but after two semesters I found myself aloof and not attending classes. I was a good student entering, but before I left, I had ruined my grade point average (GPA) to a 0.38. You read that correctly - I wasn't a terrible student, I just didn't attend classes and I didn't drop when I should have. I quit school, got married and had children. I then found myself without a job in 2008. I returned "home" to Carl Sandburg College to finally finish what I started - nursing school - this time with a GPA of 3.45 (cumulative 2.5 due to the old GPA). 

After I graduated with my ADN, I worked as a registered nurse, completed my bachelor's with online courses and returned to school to obtain my master's in nursing. I began with a focus on leadership and management at Walden University. I continued to work full-time while working on my master's degree. On December 10, 2013, I received a phone call that would change my life forever. The director of health professions at Carl Sandburg College offered me a teaching position based on a previous nursing faculty member's recommendation. I accepted, and I have been working at Carl Sandburg College as an adjunct instructor ever since. I began teaching the medical assisting program, then other courses followed, including biomedical ethics, nutrition, ADN clinical instructor, CNA clinical instructor and theory. 

I completed my master's practicum with assistance from Carl Sandburg College and assistant professor of nursing, Chrissy Stone. I graduated with a 3.76 GPA with Sigma Theta Tau honors, while working full-time, teaching part-time and helping take care of my father before he passed away January 16, 2014. 

[In 2012, Susan and her daughter participated in the same graduation ceremony. Read more].

Additional comments you wish to include:

I am a mother of a beautiful, blended family that includes my husband, five children ages 24 to 34 and have three grandchildren, two boys ages 3 and 5, and a 6-month girl. I am a full-time assistant professor of the bachelor's program at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and an adjunct CNA instructor at Carl Sandburg College.


Jeannine McCullough '82 & '94



What inspired you to pledge your support for the 100 Extraordinary Women nursing student success campaign? 

I have been very appreciative of the education I received from Carl Sandburg College. The need for nurses is a growing concern. If my donation can ease the ability for someone to complete their education, I want to support them. 

Please tell us more about your college/career pathway and/or describe the college/career pathway of the extraordinary woman you are honoring:  

In 1982, I graduated from Sandburg with an associate in applied science in banking, finance and credit. I worked in the banking industry for 10 years before returning to Carl Sandburg College as a non-traditional student to pursue my nursing degree. I graduated from Sandburg's nursing program in 1994 and earned my bachelor's in health arts from the University of St. Francis in 2005. I worked at Galesburg Cottage Hospital for six years. In 2000, I began working at ImpactLife (formerly Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center) as the Galesburg Donor Center Supervisor. I advanced to the home office in Davenport, Iowa as the Director of Donor Services in 2002. I held several positions at the blood center including: Vice President of Process Improvement (receiving my Green Belt in Lean/Six Sigma), Vice President of Quality Support Services, and retiring in fall of 2021 as the Vice President of Blood Services where I oversaw a team of 400+ throughout a four-state region including telerecruitment, marketing & public relations, donor services and training. 

Additional comments you wish to include:

My two associate degrees and bachelor's gave me the foundation to advance in my career. Having the banking background combined with nursing was very beneficial. In my career at the blood center I led several new donor center projects as well as leading two acquisitions of two blood organizations into our organization. Understanding the financial, business and medical side was crucial in my roles. Having worked in hospital nursing I clearly knew the need for a ready blood supply. I had hung many units that saved or improved patients' lives. This experience helped me in leading the team in the importance of their roles. 


Carl Sandburg College Science and Technology Center, Main Campus in Galesburg, Coming 2024.