Vanessa Logan, SHRM-SCP, M.B.A. is a Student Services Specialist in Student Life and Leadership at South Mountain Community College.
Vanessa Logan was born in Long Island, New York in 1968, the year that Martin Luther King was assassinated. She grew up during a time of segregation, but she says she did not know that at the time. She would ride the bus from the black neighborhood to the white neighborhood school. She had a difficult time in her adopted, dysfunctional home during her childhood. Despite the times being difficult, the community Vanessa grew up in was very supportive which helped her be a great student when she was in school. Her favorite subject was Math, and she was an A student until her adopted mother died when Vanessa was 15.
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When she was a junior in high school, Vanessa joined the U.S. Army Reserves, but with no adult guidance, Vanessa dropped out of high school two weeks before graduation. However, she still earned her diploma later in the fall semester. After graduation, Vanessa became a single mother of two children by the age of 21. She returned to her military roots and went active in the U.S. Army.
Later, Vanessa took advantage of the G.I. Bill and went to college at Central Texas College in Fort Hood, TX. She earned two Associate Degrees at the community college and then transferred to Texas State University for her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. Immediately, after earning her undergraduate degree, Vanessa moved to Phoenix, AZ to be with her current husband of 25 years and earn a Master’s in Business Administration at University of Phoenix.
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In 2003, Vanessa was hired through an outside temp agency to be a secretary for the Vice President of Administrative Services at South Mountain Community College. She was hired full-time six months later, and within two years she was serving as the Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. She eventually became the Human Resources Manager on campus, but left briefly for health reasons.
Vanessa returned to South Mountain Community College as a Student Services Specialist in Student Life and Leadership. In this role, Vanessa helps oversee student interests such as clubs and activities. Vanessa helps students get involved with their school and become well rounded individuals. She is also dedicated to giving students opportunities for leadership in their community and speaks up for their fellow classmates. Vanessa likes working at South Mountain because of the community. She is passionate about the school and community working together. She says, “There is something about the South Phoenix community, this community, they work together, they stick together and have decades together and their children grew up together and this place has a very special bond.”
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Vanessa Logan is a role model worth following. Over the course of her career, she has helped countless students. Vanessa sees the good in people and wants to help everyone accomplish their goals and knows that the students can do great things. Logan also uses her life as an example for students. She talks about her experiences and what she went through. She has changed a lot of students’ lives; she was there when students needed her. She helps students reach their true potential despite any difficult experiences that the students might have. Vanessa often says of her students that she will be their friend, teacher, cheerleader or whatever they might need to help push them to do and be better. She also would like the students that she helped do the same for future generations. When she was growing up, she was told that the only limit you have is the ones that you put on yourself.
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Logan is most proud of The Village and Shopping @SMCC. It started simply years ago, after the first United Way Project Connect, when they left pallets of bagged food behind after an event. Students were welcomed to take the remaining food for themselves and their families. This experience made her realize that this was a widespread need across the college. Vanessa had discovered real service the campus could provide to students and community members in dire straits. She began looking for supplies in all sorts of places. She gathered and shopped for food and donations from organizations like United Project Connect and St. Mary’s Food Alliance. When it became clear to her that The Village needed more nutritious and protein-based items, Logan took charge. She obtained her Food Manager Certification so she could oversee the growing project. She advocated for and purchased a commercial freezer to accommodate The Village’s growing stock.
In 2021, SMCC completed a massive construction project which included a full-size kitchen for The Village and Shopping @SMCC.
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Vanessa attests that her childhood, military experience, and different positions of work experiences in life have helped her become the woman who she is now. She wants to be part of a community that works and grows together. She has helped many students to live better lives by challenging them and supporting them in any way she can. She hopes those that she helped with do the same for others. “It’s more a legacy than it is, you know hey look what I did… it continues. The legacy continues,” she says.
|Place of Origin||Freeport, New York|
|Place of Residence||Laveen, Arizona|
|Occupation||Student Services Specialist in Student Life and Leadership|
|Years Active in South Phoenix||2003-|
|Location||South Mountain Community Library|
|Interviewed By||Faculty Researcher: Travis May|
|Story Written By||Student Writers: Jaime Arredondo, Kimberly Chavez, Jordan Cook, & Antionette Silago|