Aiding plantscience research

Staff Excellence Award
His work on the WSU campus is really visible … so visible, in fact, that Horizon Air pilots use it as a navigation marker for coming into the Pullman airport.
Charles “Chuck” Cody’s work is to manage the plant growth facilities, or greenhouses, for the School of Biological Sciences.
“Some people will tell you I’m never in my office,” said Cody, the 2007 President’s Employee Excellence Award recipient.
Cody and his wife moved to Pullman in 1980 so both could attend graduate school. In 1983, he started work as manager and hasn’t looked back. He doesn’t regret a minute of it.
“The interaction with researchers here leaves me feeling like a little kid with amazement,” he said. “My jaw just drops when I hear about what they’re up to — they have such great ideas!”
While he remains in awe of the productivity of the biosciences faculty, those faculty also are in awe of him.
“He is hard working, organized and innovative,” said Gerald Edwards, biology professor. “He is a public relations asset to WSU as a consultant on plants and growth facilities, and because of the greenhouse tours he offers during Mom’s and Dad’s weekends and to visiting school children.”
A few years ago Cody took over operations at Meyer’s Point, a Puget Sound property donated to WSU. Around the same time, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund identified an inlet at Meyer’s Point as the perfect place for a shellfish farm to bolster community interest in water conservation.
Cody helped set up the project, working on the property to reduce impacts on water and working with a local high school teacher to turn maintenance of the land into student community service projects and learningopportunities.
Outside of WSU, Cody enjoys pottery and tending to his home vegetable garden, which produces enough for his family to can, freeze and enjoy year-round.
“I’ve been a blithering idiot since I found out about this award though,” he said. “This reflects on my role here in the greenhouses and the rewarding relationships I have on this campus.”
About the awards
Employee Excellence Awards recognize outstanding staff contributions toward productivity, good work relations, community service and problem-solving.