In 1984, she moved to Norman to study philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. She worked as a student aide in the philosophy department’s academic office and assisted with conservation work at OU Library’s Western History Collection. She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1986. Introduced to architecture, she took classes and worked in the College of Architecture dean’s office and in the Architecture Library as a student aide. A class project introduced Colette to her future husband, an architect. In May 1989, she received a Bachelor of Architecture. In September, they married in Oklahoma City and then began her career working as a summer intern at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, for a land surveyor and for a Norman architect.
Moving to Bellevue, Wash., in 1990, she worked for several architects and a commercial aircraft interior design firm, joined Overlake Park Presbyterian Church and later Bellevue Presbyterian Church, singing in church choirs. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and later with early stage rheumatoid arthritis, with God’s help, she survived the cancer and was healed of the RA. In 1994, she gave a recital of classical piano, flute and vocal music with two fellow musicians, briefly taught singing to children and young adults at a performing arts academy and sang with the Seattle Choral Company performing Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
In 1998, Colette founded The Wallace Research Group, providing architecture, human factors design, building material and technology, and market and competitive research services using online databases and internet search engines. She wrote several research and architecture-oriented articles for Searcher Magazine, reviewed books, critiqued manuscripts and self-published The WRG Newsletter online monthly (2000-2002). She was a member of the American Institute of Architects (associate), MENSA, UK Design Research Society, Association of Independent Information Professionals and a Certified Information Privacy Professional, and since 2004 has been listed in various versions and editions of Marquis’ Who’s Who. She formed and, from 2003-2013, led a yearly, nine-month, weekly Advanced Bible Study at Bellevue Presbyterian Church and, in 2010, became a member at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle.