Vanessa began working in the public schools as an Artist-in-the-Schools and later as a substitute teacher, as well as a voice teacher, a piano teacher, a reading teacher, a dance teacher, a religious education teacher, even an algebra tutor. Finding herself in higher education she taught a Theology and Theatre course she developed while in divinity school. At one point, she taught acting and play production at a community college.
Her first experience teaching film at DePaul University in Chicago led to a desire to write a book about Foley. After publishing The Foley Grail, she pursued a Ph.D. in Communication and Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University.
After graduation and writing the second edition of The Foley Grail, she began a five-year adventure as the Endowed Chair in Telecommunications at Ball State University. The third edition was published during the Covid 19 pandemic, during which time she also wrote Divergent Tracks: How Three Film Communities Revolutionized Digital Film Sound, as well as several chapters about Foley and film sound.
Review of The Foley Grail by Hugh Robjohns (Sound on Sound): "The Foley Grail provides an excellent insight into the often unnoticed world of Foley, and I found it both inspiring and educational. Foley combines highly technical audio skills with artistic creativity and anyone interested in pursuing a career in this remarkable corner of the audio industry must add this book to their birthday or Christmas list." (from 2014)
Review of The Foley Grail in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal: "Ament's book is valuable in putting the spotlight on this aspect of sound postproduction, in establishing a 'classical' baseline against which the variations of animation and game Foley performance can be judged, and, occasionally, in its suggestions as to what these variations may be. Rather than revolving around the less specific notion of 'sound design', future crucial reflection on animation and game sounds can only benefit by feeding in the kind of specialist practical knowledge Ament provides about the aural footprint left by a very particular aspect of the sound production process."
Review of Divergent Tracks by Brandon J. Brown (Amazon.com review): "Dr. Ament provides a thoroughly researched and engaging looking into the evolution of film sound during a key point in history. Through interviews and personal observation and analysis she provides an case study that focuses on the artists and their process. We really need more works like this that focus on the collaborative and artistic aspects of film sound. I cannot recommend this enough!"
Vanessa demonstrates, discusses, lectures, does podcasts and radio shows, consults, and teaches about Foley, working with actors, and filmmaking. She directs and teaches singers and actors. She has recently completed a chapter about Foley for a Taylor and Francis handbook about sound studies.