Meet Our Staff



Gar Kellom
Program Director

Gar comes back to Winona where he began his career in Student Support Services and as Dean of Students at Saint Mary’s University. He went on to serve as the Vice President for Student Development at Carroll College and Saint John’s University.
His PhD is from UC Berkeley in religion and spirituality of college students but he has been working in the area of gender studies and started the first men’s center on a college campus at SJU and continues this work through national research, conferences and publications.  He has three recent books out on designing programs for men, engaging college men in service and how to start men’s groups. He has also received four grants while at Winona State so far. Three of them have helped to strengthen the data analysis for SSS, the alumni base for SSS and expand SSS services to WSU students in Rochester. His latest grant from the MN Department of Health for a quarter million dollars has added services for student parents at colleges in SE Minnesota and provides additional resources for SSS students and others who find themselves balancing school work with parenthood.

Gar can be reached at 507.457.2467 or email  


Leslie Albers
Academic Advisor/Counselor

Leslie has been part of the SSS staff since November 2007, although she has been associated with WSU for much longer. Her first job at WSU was as a master tutor in the former Academic Skills Center and she worked for several years in the Disability Resource Center while completing her master's degree in counseling at WSU. She completed her master’s internship in the WSU Student Counseling Center.
After graduate school, Leslie served as an academic advisor for the Student Support Services Program at Rochester Community & Technical College, serving TRiO students at that institution. "My life's mission is to help others discover the strengths and resources they already have to help them reach their academic, career and personal goals. I think I have the best job in the world working with TRIO students every day!"
When she isn't in the office, Leslie enjoys reading, knitting and exploring nature. Her newest outdoor passion is kayaking, and during the summer she can often be found paddling the backwaters of the Mississippi River. She has a college-professor husband, 3 adult sons and 2
adorable grandchildren.

Leslie can be reached at 507.457.5464 or email



Kate Parsi
Academic Advisor/Tutor Coordinator

Kate is an alumnus of WSU, earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees here. She is now embarking on her 18th year as an employee and she is really excited to be working with the SSS program. Kate enjoys working with students and helping them find their academic direction. She also specializes in helping students hone their study and time management skills to better ensure success at WSU. In her free time, Kate loves to cook, go on trips to see new parts of the world and most of all, spend time with her family.

Kate can be reached at 507.457.5156 or email



Kim Dehlin Zeiher
Academic Advisor/Student Leadership Coordinator

Kim holds both a Bachelors of Art and a Master of Science degree from WSU and brings a diverse set of professional skills and experiences to her work with SSS students. Prior to joining the WSU SSS staff in 2007, Kim served as Director of Alumni Relations at Winona State University and in university administration as Director of Benefactor Relations at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She has also spent time working as a private designer. With nearly 20 years of experience in higher education Kim feels passionate about helping students reach their goal of graduation.

As an Academic Advisor, Kim works to help students navigate the higher education system by providing them with personal and academic support.  She also coordinates the SSS Leadership program, which is designed to assist students in learning about leadership and provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skill necessary to fulfill their individual leadership potential.  Kim says “Being in a position where I can work with students to help them develop their unique qualities and strengths is a real privilege.  I feel fortunate to be a part of the TRiO SSS program and to work with the students who represent the future of our society.”

Kim is available to meet with student year round and can be reached by calling 507.457.5465 or 507.457.5025, or email



Valerie Williams
Program Assistant

Valerie is new to the university and TRIO.  The last 7 years she served as the Winona Area Public Schools Grant Writer.  Valerie also works with the Great River Shakespeare Festival as Education Coordinator and Grants Writer.  In her evenings, Valerie directs the drama performances at Winona Senior High School and coaches the Speech Team.

Valerie can be reached at 507.457.5465 or email