2022 Sent Forth Awards

Melissa Sobolik ’02 and Cory Hepola ’03 honored with awards

Concordia College has honored Melissa (Cherney) Sobolik, a 2002 graduate, and Cory Hepola, a 2003 graduate, as the 2022 Sent Forth recipients.

The Sent Forth Award is presented to young alumni who have made an impact early in their career, emphasizing service to others and demonstrating a strong vocational commitment.

Sobolik is CEO of the Great Plains Food Bank, Fargo, N.D. She previously was the development director for the Plains Art Museum and associate program director for Northern Great Plains Inc. She served on the Fargo City Commission from 2012 to 2016, including the planning commission and arts and culture commission, as well as boards of several local organizations. She believes that food insecurity is a solvable issue and hopes to change the stigma surrounding needing assistance. An inspirational leader, she has had a profound impact on Great Plains — from nurturing staff culture to advocating for long-term solutions to food insecurity at the local, state, and national levels.

A native of Perham, Minn., Hepola has had a nationally renowned professional career in the Twin Cities. He was the host of "Hey, it's Cory Hepola," a daily show on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis, before stepping down in Spring 2022 to run for governor of Minnesota as a third-party candidate for the Forward Party. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner for Outstanding TV Anchor and has received five additional Emmy nominations. He worked as a TV anchor and reporter for seven stations across five states, earning Best Sportscast twice, once in North Dakota and once in New York.

Sobolik and Hepola have embodied the qualities of the Sent Forth recipient throughout their careers. They were honored April 29 at the Senior Banquet.