college counselors

Lorraine Serra Founder + Director

Lorraine Serra is the Founder and Director of Portfolio College Counseling (PCC). The services offered by PCC are inspired by nearly four decades of her 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 also 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.

Madeleine Soloway Art Portfolio Advisor

Madeleine Soloway is an exhibiting artist and art educator with over 40 years of professional art experience and twenty-nine years teaching in high school art programs. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout the United States and is included in private and corporate collections.

Soloway has a well-developed eye for talent and takes a proactive approach with guiding her students through the college process. Her students have won numerous awards for their artwork in both local and national competitions and are regularly granted top merit-based scholarships from prestigious art schools across the country.

Soloway brings her love of teaching and her years of success to guide PCC students through the college admissions process. She has participated in student portfolio reviews for The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program and Portfolio Day for Washington University in St. Louis. In 2011 Soloway received an award for her excellence in teaching from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Madeleine received her BFA in sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art, her MFA in printmaking and sculpture from Washington University and her K-12 Teacher Certification from The University of Georgia.

Abby Lal Client Manager

Abby is our Client Manager and a Design Strategist with a BBA in Strategic Design & Management from Parsons School of Design. She works with organizations of all shapes and sizes to explore short and long-term potential impact, simplify organizational processes, and customize platforms, products, and collateral. 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.
“My students always bring me fresh ideas and stretch my thinking and abilities as a counselor and designer,” says Lorraine. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the many young artists and designers with whom I’ve worked.”

Let's Connect

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 order and associated fees. Each plan for counseling is customized, based on the student’s abilities, skills and educational objectives.