Nyla Jolly Dalferes, M.Ed., NCC, has been an educator dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and career aspirations for almost 30 years. Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Nyla began her career teaching high school science later becoming a retention counselor in higher education. Her growing interests in student success, and empowering students to achieve career goals, led her to pursue positions within career development.
Nyla joined the CSUN community in 2003 and has held staff and faculty positions on campus. In her role, she oversees a dynamic student-centered career program which addresses the current and emerging career development needs of all CSUN students.
Janice Potzmann is an experienced career counselor providing individual and group counseling for diverse populations. Jan earned a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in career counseling from California State University, Northridge and has more than 16 years of experience in career counseling. As assistant director, Jan supervises professional and student staff including CSUN counseling graduate students and teaches counseling and development. Experiential learning is at the core of her work, helping students transition to professionals.
Jan oversees technology for the Career Center and provides vision and expertise to advancing career education through multimedia by using innovative methods for engaging students in learning. She has led the charge on addressing students through technology. She has been an integral part of the conceptualization and development of the CSUN CareerLink program and the CSUN Career Center Multimedia team.
Patricia Gaynor's previous years in business provided her with the practical experience and knowledge necessary to be an effective assistant director of Career Readiness for Students in Transition. She holds a master’s degree in educational counseling and has been in higher education career services for more than 18 years. Through counseling, workshops, events, panels, and training, she teaches professionalism and the importance of always staying current and aware of the trends in business. She is dedicated to assisting and guiding students along their path of college-to-career.
Patricia takes much pride in the program she created and now directs Matty’s Closet, which opened in September 2018. It is a college closet of professional clothing free to CSUN students of all majors and grade levels and is based on donated clothing. This program has been a successful addition to the Career Center and to the ‘Career Readiness’ of our CSUN students.
Brian has been with the CSUN Career Center since the Fall semester of 1998. He received his MS in Counseling (Career Counseling specialization) from CSUN, his BA in Political Science from UCLA, and is also a proud alum of Los Angeles Valley College. His specialty areas are the first and second year college student experience and the use of career assessments in counseling. Interests and hobbies include abstract and macro photography, 20th century world history and politics, social justice, old cars, and animals of all types.
Dr. Deazell Johnson (he/him) is a full-time career counselor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at CSUN and California Lutheran University.
His first name pronounced like “deh-ZEL,” Dr. Johnson joined the CSUN community in 2003, completing three degrees along the way: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2020), Master of Arts in Educational Administration in Higher Education (2012), and Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting (2008). During that time, he also served in a myriad of student-focused leadership positions, including faculty, academic advisor, student outreach coordinator, office manager, and resident advisor to name a few.
Dr. Johnson counsels and advises students to clarify life and career goals through individual and group counseling with an emphasis on serving students from traditionally underserved communities, such as students of Black and African descent. As a servant leader and situational leader, Dr. Johnson’s passion, intersectionality, strengths, and skills ultimately shape his commitment to serving all students, empowering them to achieve career goals, and leading them to their strengths.
A professional Career Counselor with a background in Employment Development.
After graduating from CSUN in 2004, Daniel went on to receive his Master of Science in Educational Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. He was the Program Manager of a Los Angeles County WorkSource Center and worked with the College of the Canyons Career Center, before becoming a Career Counselor for California State University, Northridge.
He has hosted seminars on Developing Your Online Presence, Interview Skills, The Hidden Job Market, and more, all in an effort to better prepare students for their life’s journey.
Ana M. Penaranda is a Multimedia Instructional Content Developer. She holds a B.A. in Multimedia and Computer Animation from California State University, Northridge, and an M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from California State University, Fullerton. Ana has worked in higher education institutions and the entertainment business for over ten years.
Ana currently manages the Interactive and Innovation lab at the CSUN Career Center, where she oversees the educational uses of technology and the best instructional methodologies applied to adult education. Her current projects focus on designing learning experiences through interactive design, mobile applications, AI, VR, and AR.