Lab director Josh Pitzer awarded for outstanding contributions

Josh Pitzer, the director of lab operations for the College of Engineering and Technology, was one of 27 East Carolina University employees to receive a 2022 Treasured Pirate Award for outstanding contributions to ECU.

Pitzer was recognized for his support of teaching, research and outreach, and multiple cross-college initiatives. He was the lead technical developer for the Isley Innovation Hub, which serves as an ideation and makerspace for ECU. The hub provides 15,000 square feet for the ECU community to gather, develop and validate ideas, whether those ideas are classwork or entrepreneurial in nature. They can create early-stage prototypes, identify team members and connect with other hopeful entrepreneurs. It opened to students this fall, and Pitzer spent the summer working on equipment and training student workers to assistant others in the space.

Josh Pitzer holds his Treasured Pirate Award. He received the award for his many contributions as director of lab operations for the College of Engineering and Technology. (Contributed photo)

“There were a lot of projects and changes over the last few years for both student and faculty spaces,” Pitzer said. “I really appreciate the nomination by Dr. Jason Yao and need to thank (lab supervisors) Andy Wilson and Chris Cone as they were often working in tandem with me on these projects. Being able to bounce ideas off them, as well as knowing they were there to do the ‘heavy lifting,’ was invaluable.”

Pitzer also prepared labs and offices in the new Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building, which is home to the Eastern Region Pharma Center and bioprocess engineering students. Beyond that, he created a 3D virtual lab tour that is part of the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) website and helped set up digital tools for students in the new Student Success Center Lounge in the Rawl Building.

“Josh is technically capable and has a heart to serve everyone around him to his most capacity,” Yao, associate dean of the college, wrote in nominating Pitzer for the award. “His service to CET, ECU and the broader community is truly above and beyond expectation, and I believe with no doubt he is a Treasured Pirate!”

Pitzer received his award along with 26 other ECU employees during a ceremony at the Murphy Center. Allison Winters, a former academic advisor with the college now with the College of Business, was also recognized with a Treasured Pirate Award.

Employees are nominated by their peers for accomplishments that exceed expectations or go beyond the employee’s normal scope of duties. Awards may represent achievement in several categories: customer service, efficiency and innovations, human relations, outstanding state government service, public service, safety and heroism, or demonstration of the spirit of North Carolina.

Nominations are reviewed at the division or departmental level and presented to the Treasured Pirate University Committee, made up of representatives from each division. Winners received a certificate and trophy at the ceremony and will receive a $250 monetary award.

ECU Chief of Staff Chris Locklear congratulated the winners on behalf of Chancellor Philip Rogers.

“Since the chancellor’s return, he has emphasized the importance of being a mission-aligned, future-focused, innovative and adaptive campus, with our people at the center of our work, operating as one ECU to fulfill our commitments to our students and to our region,” Locklear said. “Today, the honorees represent this standard of excellence and are among the reasons why it is yet another great day to be a Pirate.”

For a report on other 2022 Treasured Pirates, read the story online.

ECU News Services’ Crystal Baity contributed to this report.

Josh Pitzer works with students in the Isley Innovation Hub. (Photo by Rhett Butler)