Amanda KindvallFrom selecting a major to paying bills to getting help with homework, there are many choices and challenges that await the typical college student. Lucky for Amanda Kindvall of St. Francis, Minn., Winona State University TRIO Student Support Services was there to offer assistance every step of the way.

Kindvall met Kate Parsi, an Academic Advisor/Academic Skills Coordinator in the TRIO Office, as part of her freshman orientation class at WSU. Parsi encouraged Kindvall to get involved with TRIO, and from there, quickly became a defining influence in Kindvall’s life.

“Kate has been one of the most important people to my college career,” says Kindvall. “(She) provided help in my academic, work, and personal life. If I had a problem, she would help me find a solution that would work with my life and my personality.”

As one of WSU’s 3,000 first-generation college students, Kindvall found herself overwhelmed and facing unfamiliar situations as she entered the world of higher education. She was relieved to find that the professional staff in TRIO were able to help guide her on the path to academic success by providing services in tutoring, money management, and academic advising.

“The TRIO Program helped me from start to finish,” says Kindvall. “The program benefits countless students, and TRIO advisors go above and beyond to help every one of their students succeed.”Amanda Kindvall

During her time at Winona State, Kindvall enjoyed many amazing opportunities, like serving as president for the First-Gen Warriors Club, student teaching, and studying abroad in Australia.

When she receives her degree in Social Science History – Teaching, with a minor in History, she knows she’ll be joining an elite legacy of teacher-training that dates back to WSU’s founding in 1858 as the first normal school west of the Mississippi River.

“I am proud to be graduating from WSU because this school is known around the Midwest for being one of the best teaching universities,” says Kindvall.

Ultimately, Kindvall says finding balance between personal and academic life is the key to success.

“There will be days when it is more important to be with friends and family. But also days when school needs to be the priority,” she says. “Find people in life who will respect you and support you in those decisions.”

Fortunately for Kindvall, she found people who respected her and supported her at Winona State University, and from day one, WSU has felt like home.

“I knew within five minutes of being on campus that this was where I wanted to go to school,” she says. “The campus was beautiful, the people were amazing, the city was big but with a small-town feel, and it all just came together.”

Read more about the achievements of our recent Winona State University alumni at:

Do you know an outstanding student that will be graduating from Winona State in Spring 2019? Submit their name for consideration for the 2019 graduate profile series!

For more information on WSU Commencement, visit:

About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with approximately 8,000 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering. Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 15 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 23 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 Million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit