Theresa Brown was born as the daughter of prominent Mormon military strategist Hinckley Brown. As a graduate student, she taught an undergraduate course titled Human Community. She was a stern, curt teacher who found herself particularly annoyed by the presence of one student, John Paul Wiggin.
Theresa had essentially disavowed her Mormon beliefs, choosing to focus on science over religion. She expelled a student from her class for asking a question about her Mormon faith versus science, citing the questions as bigoted and troublemaking.
Theresa's research as a grad student was well respected. Because of this, it came as a great shock to Theresa when she was called into a meeting with her entire dissertation committee and told that her funding was being pulled. She would receive her degree, but the government of the Hegemony had made the decision that Theresa should not be involved in her own research, as the government's move against her father, in an encouragement to bring him out of retirement.
John Paul began flirting with her immediately after this meeting. She was frustrated and didn't wish to speak with him, but he was persistent. He set up a picnic outside her office when she shut the door in his face.
When she exited her office, she saw that John Paul had been regularly ordering different kinds of food, and throwing them out when they became cold. She reluctantly joined him for his picnic, and learned the truth about the annoying student's life and family. Like her family, his was outspokenly noncompliant. They spoke of world political philosophy, and Theresa found herself falling in love with him. They closed the picnic with an unexpected kiss.
Theresa went on to marry John Paul, taking his name and bearing three children: Peter, Valentine, and Andrew. At a young age, the children all were fitted with a Monitor. The third child, who soon began going by the nickname Ender, had been requested by the International Fleet because Peter and Valentine had not lived up to the Hegemony's expectations and were not accepted to Battle School. Though not active in the religious tradition of her upbringing, she was upset that her husband baptized the three children in their infancy.
- Theresa was born in Utah.