Vanessa Blackmon

Mrs. Vanessa Blackmon

Associate Director


Vanessa Blackmon is an Associate Director in the Office of Student Services primarily overseeing the retention initiatives for the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Rosen College of Hospitality Management. She joined the Rosen College Advising Team in July 2011 and in August of the same year incepted the college’s first mentoring program: the Global Award-Winning Peer Outreach Mentoring Program (POMP).

Blackmon utilizes a coaching framework to motivate, lead and empower all of the program members. In this past ten years, POMP has been honored with the 2017 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Global Award, the 2016 Florida Academic Advising Association (FLACADA) Exemplary Practice Award and the 2012 Judy Boyte Innovative Academic Advising Award.  POMP is now a Global Advising Program Model with over 175 program members. The overall success rate of POMP is 80% (semester average of students that increased their UCF Cumulative GPA while participating in POMP) and it has an average 98% overall retention rate. Over the years, POMP has partnered with staff, faculty, industry professionals and other university departments to provide training for the program to maintain its mentoring certification.

Blackmon’s success prompted recognition from the global community for academic advising through NACADA.  She has represented the Rosen College in over a dozen conferences including four NACADA Annual National Conferences and selected to present at a NACADA International Conference. Her presentations “Peer Outreach Mentoring Program – Building Empowerment through a Coaching Framework in the Era of the ‘Millennial Student’” and “Guide to Building and Sustaining an Effective Peer Mentoring Program – Reaching a 92% Success Rate is Achievable“ were selected from hundreds of presentations to be commission-sponsored by NACADA’s highly esteemed Peer Advising and Mentoring Commission.  Blackmon was also the recipient of the 2017 NACADA Outstanding Advising Award Certificate of Merit in the Academic Advising—Primary Role. This global recognition is given to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students.

Blackmon has also earned the 2020 NACADA Region 4 Certificate of Merit in Advising-Advising Administrator, 2020 UCF Excellence in Advising Administration, 2017 Gabor A&P Excellence Award, 2016 UCF Excellence in Professional Academic Advising Award, 2016 Bethune-Cookman University 40 Under 40 Award, 2016 FLACADA Excellence in Advising, 2014 NACADA Region 4 Excellence in Advising – New Advisor Award and the 2013 Rosen College Staff Member of the Year Award. She graduated from the revered UCF Leadership Empowerment Program in 2015 and serves on various committees as a representative for the Rosen College.

Prior to joining Rosen College, Mrs. Blackmon was a Head Coach at Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) from 2004-2011 where she directed their Division I Volleyball Program, leading the team to the conference tournament for seven seasons and the conference championship semi-finals on three occasions, making school history at the time. She graduated 18 student-athletes; 17 of those 18 graduated with a cumulative GPA above a 3.0 while six graduated with a 3.5+ cumulative GPA during her tenure. The volleyball program had a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 1000 in 2007-2009 while earning the highest multi-year rate for any of the 17 sports programs sponsored at BCU with a score of 985.

Blackmon holds a Master of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), a Bachelor of Arts from BCU and an Associate of Arts from Brevard Community College.