Counselors + Staff
Lorraine Serra Founder + Director
Lorraine Serra is the Founder and Director of Portfolio College Counseling (PCC). The services offered by PCC are inspired by her nearly four decades of experience as a design professional, business owner, and educator. Lorraine balances her dedication to mentoring young people with an innovative approach to helping students bring their artistic, academic and career goals into focus.
Holding a Certificate in College Counseling with Distinction from UCLA, an MA in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art & Design, and a BS in Visual Arts from Purchase College, Lorraine is a demonstrated expert in her field. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including IECA, HECA, and NACAC.
Lorraine founded Chiaro Design in 1983, a multidisciplinary creative services firm specializing in packaging, type and print design. She taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and continues to lecture, publish articles and present workshops for college-bound creative students and their families. Lorraine judges student portfolios for the National Scholastic Art Awards and is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation Grant. PCC has offices in Guilford, CT and Port Townsend, WA.
DAN GUNN Portfolio Advisor
Dan Gunn is an artist, writer, and educator. He received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the SAIC in 2007, where he has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor since 2010. At SAIC, he has taught high school, undergraduate and graduate courses in contemporary art history, theory, painting, and drawing. In 2021, his work was included in The Regional, the first major multi-museum survey dedicated to contemporary artists based in the Midwest that opened at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati and traveled to the Kemper Museum in Kansas City. He was awarded residencies at the Wassaic Project (2022), University of Arkansas (2019), Anderson Ranch Art Center (2018) and Skowhegan (2012). Gunn’s work in painting, wood sculpture and ceramics uses the imagery, aesthetic, and craft traditions of the American Midwestern vernacular.
JENNI SARIKAS Client Manager
A musician and creative writer herself, asnd spentJenni began college as a Music Education major at the University of Tampa, but soon felt the pull of songwriting and the music business. She completed a BA in Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University of New Jersey. She worked in music publishing as an intern and, later, as an employee, then took a risk and followed her true passion for songwriting. She earned a Master’s degree in Songwriting from Bath Spa University in Bath, England.
Jenni has since continued writing songs, released a full-length album of original songs, and periodically releases new work. She is passionate about fitness, particularly running, and will run her first marathon in 2022.
Along with music, Jenni has always enjoyed doing research. She often found herself exploring college programs just for fun! Jenni is a member of NYSACAC (New York State Association for College Admission Counseling). At Portfolio College Counseling, you will find her working behind the scenes to provide students with up-to-date access to college and application information as well as onboarding for your personalized application trackers.
REBECCA SARVADY ESSAY ADVISOR
Rebecca is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and educator. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in English Literature and spent several years working in their Office of Admissions. After teaching English in a public school in Madrid, Spain via a government grant, she moved to New York, where she teaches English Literature, Math and Spanish. She specializes in working with those students with learning disabilities and alternative teaching methods that emphasize engagement, multidisciplinary work and creativity. A musician and creative writer herself, Rebecca is passionate about helping fellow artists uncover their unique voice and land their next stepping stone in the world.
Finding the right college counselor is the key step in a successful college planning process. To help decide whether our services are the best path forward for students, we offer a 20-minute, complimentary phone meeting to introduce ourselves, get to know you and explain our process. Afterward, we’ll prepare a written proposal to outline our plan for working with you, that includes a suggested sequence and associated fees. Each plan for counseling is customized, based on the student’s abilities, skills and educational objectives.