Design Advisors

Design Advisors

In 2021, Portfolio College Counseling launched its Design Advisory Group, a network of exceptionally talented design students and professionals. Our advisors mentor and inspire our students, the next generation of design leaders.

Natalia Trevino Amaro Fashion Design

Natalia graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an AAS in Fashion Design. “I participated in the international program, and spent my first year at Polimoda in Florence, Italy, and studied in NYC for my final year. I currently run my self-titled company, “Natalia Trevino Amaro,” creating hand-made clothing and accessories with an emphasis on sustainability. I also post videos on YouTube every week about my life, my business, fashion school experiences, Q&A’s, and a lot more! If I’m not sewing or editing videos, I’m most likely playing piano, reading, or hanging out with my dog.”

Fran Beallor Painting and Drawing, Portfolio Development

Fran Beallor is a professional artist and arts educator whose specialty is helping students develop their artwork for art high schools and colleges. She teaches privately and in small groups. Fran knows the value of one-on-one teaching; she focuses on technique and loves to share her expertise with students, who appreciate her style of encouragement and enthusiasm. She has also taught art at public and private schools in NY and for corporate students online.

Fran’s art has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries. She has work in the 9/11 Museum in NYC and Copelouzas Museum in Athens, Greece. She was awarded first prize in the 2020 Morgan Library Museum Online Portrait Competition and had a solo show at El Barrio’s Artspace in NYC January 2021. Schooling includes Pratt Institute, Antioch College, Brooklyn Museum Art School and Art Students League.

Isa Hanssen Animation, Storyboarding, Character Design

Isa Hanssen is a narrative artist (storyboard and comics), indie game developer and occasional writer. She is a Filipino/Mexican/American artist with a love for magical girls and mundane mythological weirdness.

Isa studied at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where she produced… a whole lot of films about girls fighting, and two games about the apocalypse. She has since worked for Tic Toc Games Studios, BOOM! Studios, and attended the Cartoon Network Story Academy.

Tommy Cheng Animation

Tommy Cheng is a Boston-based, 2D animator specializing in Character Animation. He graduated from Lesley University in 2019 and joined Poke Gravy Studios, a boutique firm. Since then, Tommy has worked on a wide range of projects from music videos to educational films, for clients like Billy Ray Cyrus and the Boston Children’s Hospital. Tommy will pursue an MFA in Animation at SMFA/Tufts University starting in Fall 2022.

Artistically, Tommy is drawn towards narrative based works with strong, clear messaging. He is a voracious reader, a dedicated consumer of film and television, and a foodie with an insatiable appetite.

Carley DiNovi Fashion Design, Textile Design

Carley graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Fashion Design. During her studies, she interned for several lifestyle brands dedicated to celebrating self-expression through prints, textiles, and sustainable approaches. After graduating, she has worked as a freelance designer in concept design, home textiles, and knitwear design and production.

Her love for fashion is based on the idea that it can serve as: “A voice for those too scattered for words, a daily report of one’s reflections, a link between curious minds, and a moving platform to promote progression.” As Carley has further discovered her innate strengths, she has directed these values towards the field of Art Therapy. She will pursue an MFA in Art Therapy at Naropa University in Fall 2022. Carley aims to use her metaphorical introspection and empathic sensitivity to guide the powers of self-expression to PCC students. Her personal artwork includes autobiographical illustrations with eclectic details and a progression towards abstract paintings with layered symbolism.

Jeanette Fantone Animation and Filmmaking

Jeanette Fantone is an animator and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She currently attends California Institute of the Arts as a BFA candidate in Experimental Animation. While pursuing her degree, Jeanette has received festival recognition (Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, San Diego Underground) and joined a multitude of projects with both independent and industry clients (Warner Bros., Netflix Internal, Nice Life Recording).

As an artist, Jeanette feels a strong gravitation towards digital/analog techniques and a lively enthusiasm for exploration of process. There is an innate presence of memory, longing, and emotional nuance that strengthens as she continues to nurture her voice.

Lauren Gaston Costume Design, Illustration

Lauren Gaston (she/her) works as a costume designer, illustrator, and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured by The Juilliard School and Time Lapse Dance in NYC and the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Russia. She is a co-creator of The Sustainable Production Toolkit, and a former LMCC Arts Center artist-in-residence, where she explored ways to animate and activate the climate movement on Governors Island. Most recently, Lauren served as Interim Director at the Broadway Green Alliance in NYC.

Umut Guney Architecture

Umut is from Istanbul, Turkey. He received a Bachelor of Architecture with high distinction from Syracuse University. He has interned at architecture firms in New York City, Washington DC and Istanbul. He has experience advising and assisting students and peers as a peer advisor at Syracuse University School of Architecture and worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for freshman architecture students. “In my experiences I realized that I enjoy advising younger students as I learn from their questions and thoughts.

Since graduating, Umut has been reading, drawing, collaborating with friends for an exhibition in Berlin and participated in a design studio review as a guest critic. The pandemic offered him an opportunity to explore new ways of creating while adapting to changing conditions. Umut will pursue a Master of Architecture at Yale University in Fall 2022.

Bailey Martinez Fashion Design

Bailey graduated from Kent State University with a BFA in Fashion Design. Since then, she has worked as a stylist, as well as an Assistant designer. She now works as a freelance fashion designer and pattern maker in NYC. When pursuing her own design work, Bailey likes to take inspiration from music and her favorite style eras. She likes to incorporate texture, innovative style lines, and tailoring into her designs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, drawing, and watching a good film.

Avery Saylor Industrial Design

Avery Saylor graduated with distinction from Purdue University’s Industrial Design Program. She is IDSA’s Midwest District Merit Award winner for 2020 and has received multiple other recognitions for her designs including: Student Runner up and Community Choice Winner for Core77 Home and Living Category, winner of Delta Faucet Design Competition, and First Place thesis design at Purdue’s Undergraduate show. She enjoys the research side of design and loves to work with users to find the optimal solution, priding herself on well thought out, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing design. She resides in Saint Joseph, Michigan with her husband Zach and puppy JoJo where she enjoys knitting/crocheting, baking, and renovating her house!

Iris Xie Graphic Design, Illustration

Iris Xie is set to graduate in 2023 as an undergraduate Graphic Design student at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with strengths in illustration, typography and traditional animation. Well-connected on campus, Iris serves as Creative Director at Brown Political Review and as a Resident Advisor for RISD Residence Life. Outside of campus, she has worked several design internships and freelance assignments, for companies such as Nickelodeon, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Black Math, Inc.

Her works include narrative animation, comics, book design, editorial illustration, and branding systems. She is interested in blending effective concept-driven work with a strong aesthetic voice.

Lily Xu Fashion Design

Knitwear designer based in NY, Lily completed her BA at the University of Technology Sydney in Fashion and Textiles Design with Honors and pursued her MFA at Parsons School of Design. Influenced by a background in painting and tailoring, her design practice is driven by a deep appreciation of color and materiality, technical knowledge and innovation. For Lily, garment making is a practice that allows for a tangible and physical documentation of diverse narratives, experiences and emotions. In focusing on the technical knowledge, skill and labor behind garment making, she hopes to create garments that are meaningful and allow for people to connect with clothing in a deeper way. When she is not tinkering away on her knit machine or starting another on a new canvas, (with half a dozen paintings yet to be completed) she is binging on podcasts and always on the lookout for cute dogs to pet.

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.