Young Professional 2021: Kristine I. Cody

Kristine Cody

Kristine I. Cody

Staff development consultant
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

What’s your dream vacation?

What thing would people be
most surprised to learn about you?
I was born in Germany and lived
there until I was 5 years old.

Favorite pandemic purchase?
More books!

Favorite Tri-City restaurant?
Masala Indian Cuisine

Age: 34

Current city of residence: Richland

How long have you been at PNNL?
My new job starts Aug. 23.

Briefly describe your company.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security.

Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Education and certifications:
George Fox University: Bachelor’s in organizational communication.

Azusa Pacific University: Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: In my new position at PNNL’s Learning and Development group as a staff development consultant, I will provide internal consulting, facilitate trainings and staff development activities, and align resources and staff members to foster a culture of continuous learning.

Prior to PNNL, I began my career journey in higher education while pursuing my master’s degree in Southern California.

As a first generation to college graduate, I’ve held a long-standing desire to build bridges and provide advocacy for underrepresented student populations.

When I moved back to the Tri-Cities in 2018, I found opportunities to do this work both at Columbia Basin College and most recently at Washington State University Tri-Cities as assistant director of career services. I worked to stay attune to opportunity gaps and incorporate and provide access to key resources that will lessen and close them for marginalized populations.

During my eight years in higher education, I found there were many ways to do this. However, a key area that I’m passionate about is providing inclusive professional development opportunities to students.

At WSU Tri-Cities, I provided coaching for students on professional competencies and hosted events that provided participants the chance to practice and strengthen their skillsets.

This included one-on-one meetings with students to review their resumes, conduct mock interviews and to provide support for their internship and job search efforts.

At WSU, I also facilitated the annual career fair, networking night and educational workshops. In addition to providing support for students, I also worked with local employers to promote employment opportunities and to offer strategic oversight for how the campus engages students with career connected learning.

How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? About 15 years

How did you earn your first dollar?
My first dollar was earned through babysitting and cleaning house for family friends.

The first job I was hired for in a professional setting was to file for a local insurance agency during high school. I then went on to acquire work study jobs in college, including book repair for the university library and as a marketing and communications assistant aiding with drafting press releases and editing the university website.

Once I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, my first full-time role was as the administrative assistant for the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how?
The pandemic affected much of my daily work as WSU Tri-Cities was fully remote for the past year and a half.

We pivoted to online learning and service delivery to ensure the safety of staff and students.

This meant that I shifted all of my appointments, meetings, workshops and events to virtual delivery. I primarily utilized Teams and Zoom to engage with students and my student employees. Through the process I learned how to effectively coordinate and moderate webinars, to utilize project management software to guide and engage with my staff remotely and to promote events and services through a social media marketing plan.

The silver lining of the pandemic was that it also created the need and access for collaboration across WSU campuses. This strengthened my relationship with my career services colleagues on campus and allowed us to be more innovative and strategic in how we reached students and met their needs given the impact of the pandemic.

What was your dream job as a child?
As a child I had various dream jobs including to be a veterinarian, ballerina and a fashion designer.

The most enduring dream job was to be a fashion designer. In elementary school I completed a career poster presentation on being a fashion designer. I continued to foster this dream by sketching clothing designs throughout high school.

This dream dictated my college choice and my initial degree declaration in fashion design. As I learned more about myself in my college, I realized that my purpose was to be in a helping career which led me to my career pathway in nonprofits and education.

Tell us about your community involvement/community service.
During my first career season in the Tri-Cities, I took part in the Make A Difference Day Committee through my role at United Way.

I also volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club Job Ready/Career Launch program during which I mentored two local high school girls to assess their skills and interests, explore career options and develop professional skills.

While studying and working in California I also volunteered for a Racial Reconciliation Center as a facilitator for anti-racism workshops for the community.

How do you achieve work-life balance?
I strive to achieve work-life balance by placing boundaries that ensure I can prioritize my relationships, health and other passions.

Part of my strategy to accomplish this is not connecting my work email to my phone, setting dedicated time for friends and family on a weekly basis, and turning my out-of-office Outlook alerts on when I’m on vacation.

I also flex my time if I have a longer day due to an event, so that I can rest and keep up with other responsibilities. I firmly believe that when we get sufficient rest and time to unplug from work, we bring our best and most creative self to our job.

Awards and honors:
Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award 2021

Outstanding Supervisor Award

Do you have family? Pets?
My mother, father and younger sister are Tri-City residents. My older sister lives and works in Germany. I adopted a rescue west highland terrier dog named Benny in 2017. He is a fun-loving and mellow pup that loves food, walks and snuggling.

What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here?
I first moved to the Tri-Cities as a child when my dad was transferred here for work and spent the majority of my childhood living and learning here.

After I graduated from high school I moved away for college, but returned in 2010 to get started in my career. I moved away again in 2012 for graduate school, and then returned in 2018 to be closer to family.