Genesis Morris ’21

Undergraduate Student

Words: Marisa Foxwell Duttweiler ’13
Photos: Tony Hughes

Spring 2021 512x768

As a Panamanian American who spent her childhood in central China and her latter teens in Madrid, Spain, Genesis was no stranger to international relations even before discovering the major at Wheaton. After considering schools in various countries during her college search, Genesis decided on the United States, one of her home countries with which she had limited experience, to try to gain a better understanding of American culture.

Culture shock at Wheaton was a challenge, but Genesis connected with Wheaton’s Ladder program, which facilitates connections between student mentors and incoming international students. Genesis also benefited from a few friends with whom she felt comfortable enough to ask things like how to use an American vending machine or make microwave popcorn. These friends were patient and enjoyed learning from her, too.

“I think this speaks to the community at Wheaton,” Genesis said. “People are willing to be open to something super different from themselves while finding joy in their own lives and experiences to share with others.”

Early on in her studies as an international relations major, Genesis found herself excited to learn about concepts like conflict reconciliation commission simulations, which are historically based practices to help restore relationships between people with vast cultural differences.

“I loved looking at cases from across the world: how government works, the ways decisions and policies affect the lives of people, and what it looks like to create an environment where people can flourish,” she said.

Genesis is also pursuing the Peace and Conflict Certificate offered at Wheaton, alongside a language minor in Chinese, and knows she is drawn to opportunities to work toward peace and justice on the community level.

As a resident assistant, she has also tapped into a deep value of hospitality and journeying with people, and hopes to transfer that into a mission context or overseas nonprofit work with people from different backgrounds. Her goal is to “do life with people in a way that fosters flourishing, all while seeking justice and reconciliation.”