Bob Obrohta

Executive Director

Bob Obrohta has over twenty years of experience in the college access field.  Prior to joining the Network, Obrohta founded Oasis College Connection, Middle Tennessee’s first dedicated college counseling center with a concentration on serving first-generation/low-income students. Obrohta has worked with numerous college access programs and organizations including Beloit College (Upward Bound), Peabody College - Vanderbilt (Gear Up), Oasis Center (Oasis College Connection), and The Ayers Foundation (The Ayers Scholars Program).  He has helped to develop numerous urban and rural college access initiatives and scholarships funded by private foundations, state funding, economic development organizations, workforce development organizations, and federal grants. Bob has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of St. Francis and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Bob has lived in Nashville with his wife (Lora) and two sons since 2000.  His sons attend local public middle and high schools.



Wendy Blackmore

Senior Director of External Affairs

With ten years experience in college access and success, Wendy has worked with programs such as Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), the College Access Challenge Grant, KnowHow2Go and Race to the Top. Wendy earned a master's degree in public relations and advertising from the University of Alabama and a bachelor's degree in communication from Mississippi State University.



Jenny Mills McFerron

Director of Strategy and Engagement

Jenny began her involvement in college access through an independent study with Oasis College Connection, and served as a member of the Tennessee College Mentor Corps in its first year, working with low-income young people in the Nashville area. A native of California, Jenny graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and worked for a nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Tennessee for graduate school. She has a Masters of Education from Vanderbilt University, where she studied teaching and learning in informal educational settings.



Kate Watts

Assistant Director of Advocacy and Special Projects

Prior to joining the Network, Kate gained college access experience working on the college and career planning web portal CollegeforTN.org and on Tennessee’s Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Denison University and a master’s degree in higher education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.