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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been chosen to be a regional recruitment office for the Peace Corps.

Andy Ray, a UT graduate student who spent two years serving in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, is the campus recruiter. The Peace Corps is funding his part-time position in the Center for International Education to promote the Peace Corps on campus and throughout the region.

A 2001 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with degrees in Spanish and recording industry, Ray is now working on his master’s degree in UT’s modern foreign languages and literatures department, focusing on Spanish and Portuguese.

“It’s quite an honor for UT to be selected to host this office,” said Noah Rost of the Center for International Education. He said UT was chosen because it provides many Peace Corps volunteers.

There are currently 32 UT Knoxville alumni serving in the Peace Corps, and there are a total of 451 alumni current or former volunteers in Peace Corps. This makes UT Knoxville the No. 1 school in Tennessee — as well as the No. 4 school in the Southeast and No. 98 school in the nation — for producing Peace Corps volunteers.

The Peace Corps serves 74 countries, including Bulgaria, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Cameroon, Mongolia, Mali, Moldova, Bolivia, Niger, Paraguay, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Panama, Senegal, The Gambia, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Jordan, Vanuatu, Mauritania and Togo. Volunteers do projects in business, health, agriculture, education, community development, computer technology, forestry, teaching teachers, youth development, agri-business, and environmental and water resource engineering.

Peace Corps volunteers serve their country while helping communities worldwide meet their sustainable development needs. Through this cross-cultural exchange, Peace Corps workers and volunteers teach people about America while learning about other cultures and bringing that message back to the U.S.


Andrew Ray, Peace Corps Representative, UT Center for International Education, (865) 974-3177,