Colleen M. Shipman
Colleen seems to fall down a lot, but is otherwise pretty good in a crisis. She's got an uncanny knack for attracting the nearest predicament, and not so gracefully escaping it. Fortunately for us, it makes for some pretty humorous reading.
She is an adventurer, writer, aviator and founding member of Adventure Write, who runs our writing show. She ensures the final quality and style of Adventure Write’s authored works.
In addition, Colleen created and maintains the AdventureWrite.com website. When she's not pulling her hair out over HTML and CSS, she's either writing or exploring the Great White North.
Colleen was born 24 Jan 1977, just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, where she attended Center Area Schools from kindergarten through high school.
She's deathly afraid of zombies and is, of course, a die-hard Steelers
Educated, with papers to prove it
- 1995 Diploma, Center Area High School, Pennsylvania
- 2000 Graduate, Deutschintensivkurs, IFK-Deutschkurse Salzburg, Austria
- 2001 Sprachkurs, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
- 2002 BS, Chemical Engineering/Bioprocess Engineering, Penn State
- 2002 BS, German, Penn State
- 2002 Graduate, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps
- 2002 Graduate, Aerospace Basic Course
- 2004 Graduate, Deutschintensivkurs II, IFK-Deutschkurse Salzburg, Austria
- Professional Organization Membership:
Seven short years after entering college, Colleen emerged with two bachelor’s degrees--one in Chemical Engineering and one in German. Upon graduation, she answered her nation’s call to duty, donned a set of butter bars and became a 2nd lieutenant in the US Air Force.
She spent the next 6 years hopping from Ohio to Austria and to Florida, working as a project engineer for our military’s space endeavors, prepping satellites and launching rockets.
She reported to the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for her first active duty assignment in June 2002, where she conducted bench-level research in a laser laboratory to enhance satellite sensor protection.
In 2004, she was selected to be the Executive Officer of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. Working for the senior staff, she managed the training, evaluation and career planning for over 100 active duty and reserve military personnel.
Following her assignment at the Air Force Research Labs, she reported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, where she managed all launch-base activities for the nation’s newest missile defense satellite system.
While in Florida, Colleen volunteered with the Air Force Base Honor Guard, where she performed military honors at dozens of funerals, logging over 200 hours of ceremonial service.
In 2007, she was assigned to the staff of the 45th Space Wing Commander. As a writer and editor for the Wing Commander, she authored numerous letters, speeches, briefings and correspondence to national civic and military leaders.
In 2008, Colleen left military service, packed up the car and drove to Alaska to pursue her true passion—writing adventure stories.
Together with Alaska’s Astronaut, she founded Adventure Write, an Alaska-based freelance writing business, which produces off-the-wall adventure stories, encourages young writers and supports community events.
Expeditions and Adventures
Colleen's experience in adventure includes countless outdoor excursions of various types, including camping, hiking, rafting, canoeing, skiing and snowshoeing in
the US and abroad.
These are just a few items from the list of Colleen’s expeditions and adventures.
Germany (2000) "7 Months A Foreigner"
: Kiel, Germany
: 7 months
: 7 months of language training in northern Germany was the backdrop for several excursions and “unintentional adventures”
off the beaten track, where Europe revealed some of the rather curious places it stores its dead.
You can read about one of these "dead-stinations" in our
online magazine coming in 2009
Austria (2001) "The Roof is on Fire"
: Pinzgau, Austria
: 2 days
: An 8-hour trek in the Austrian Alps was just the beginning of this adventure. The destination was a 600-year old cabin...which almost didn't see its 601st year.
Salzburg (2004) "Locked in"
: Salzburg, Austria
: 5 hours
: A 5-hour ghost hunt. The sun has set, and the iron gates are locked. Inside the baroque gardens surrounding Salzburg's Mirabell Palace, there’s more to fear than the undead.
You wouldn't think an engineer could be so creative, but Colleen has written several articles, short stories, letters, speeches and technical papers and has authored numerous presentations. She was an Air Force speech writer and editor for a General and former astronaut.
She started writing adventure stories in the fifth grade and has been hooked ever since.
Her writing has been published in several newspapers and magazines worldwide, including:
- The New York Times
- USA Today
- People Magazine
- The Washington Post
- The Boston Globe
- Oprah Magazine
- The Air Force Times
- The New York Sun
- The New York Post
- The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
- Al Jazeera
- The Hamburger Abendblatt (Germany)
- Spiegel Online (Germany)
- The Telegraph (UK)
- The Australian (That would be out of Australia)
And she wasn't even trying...
To see samples of Colleen's writing, check out Adventure Write's Portfolio
Sometimes there are no words that can describe a scene better than a photograph, and Colleen has always got a camera in hand to capture one. Visit our
to see some of her work.
Someone once described a helicopter as "a thousand moving parts trying to kill you." That never deterred Colleen, who began her helicopter training in the Schweizer 300cbi. She has over 70 hours under her belt.
Colleen's been getting into things since she was a baby.
We once found her asleep on a bookshelf...third shelf
from the floor. She'd pulled all the books down and climbed in to catch some z's. We thought we'd lost her.
But that's Colleen in a nutshell...always doing what seems impossible, and never missing an opportunity to get
some shut-eye. We always knew she'd climb a mountain one day.
Our little adventurer in the 70's:
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Source of Space Photos: NASA