International House



Lauren Jacobs, Coordinator

Lauren moved from Texas to join the staff at UT’s International House in 2014.  She loves to travel, learn about other cultures, and meet new international students.  She’s visited many places around the world, but especially enjoyed living abroad when studying for a semester in Denmark, working as an au pair in Spain, and studying Spanish in Nicaragua for a summer.  Lauren completed her BBA in Marketing at Baylor University and her MEd in Higher Education at the University of North Texas.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, and attending Knoxville’s many festivals.


Tony Carrigan, Graduate Assistant

Hailing from Washington State, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Recreation, Tony relocated to Knoxville to study Kinesiology (Sport Psychology & Motor Behavior) at the graduate level. It has been said that passion is the best tutor. This has proven true for Tony as he continues to expand his love for learning anything related to human movement, fitness training, and nutrition. Tony is honored to participant with fellow staff and students in continuing the U.T. I-House tradition of cultivating cultural exchange while extending kindness and hospitality to all.


 courtney-zooCourtney Crowder, Graduate Assistant    

Courtney is from a small town in Ohio. Her family has taken many trips starting her at a young age sparking an interest in traveling and learning about cultures.  With her passion in traveling she has always known she wanted to join the Peace Corps. She was given the opportunity to be a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies. During her time there she fell in love with the people and the land and has since called SVG her second home.

Courtney completed her undergraduate degree at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, attaining a BSW and a BA in Religion. She is in the graduate program in Social Work here at the University of Tennessee. Her concentration is in evidence based interpersonal practice and plans on receiving a certificate in Veterinary Social Work. Courtney is a huge animal lover and is excited to learn how to use that love of animals in her professional social work practice. In her free time she likes to read books, play with her fur babies and try new foods.

She is excited to be at the I house and learn more about cultures and try all sorts of food!


 Minami Nishioka, Graduate Assistant

Minami joined the I-House in Fall 2017. She grew up in Chiba Prefecture in Japan but spent her most college years in Tokyo. Minami earned her BA in Religious Studies at International Christian University and MA in American Studies at the University of Tokyo. Her research interest is in the 19th-century U.S. history, in particular the history of American missionaries in East Asia.
She loves traveling and taking photographs: she has been in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Thai, China, Korea, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. As an international student herself, Minami has a deep compassion for those who are new to the U.S. and its education system. She is very excited to be a part of the global community!

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