By Viraj Naik for Island Eye News
Emily Dziuban, assistant to the island’s City Administrator Linda Tucker, as well as coordinator of the city’s website, is an example of one of the strong cogs in the wheel of city government that helps the city run smoothly every day. Sadly, Dziuban has decided to leave her position, but she leaves behind her a legacy of great works and accomplishment.
“The city does a lot of really interesting things. I’ve learned a lot and met tons of wonderful people,” Dziuban says.
As the first ever Assistant Administrator for the Isle of Palms and having helped with several projects around the island, Dziuban has been a driving force behind a lot of the city’s work since her arrival in 2007.
One of the major projects she assisted on during her tenure is the ongoing beach restoration project the city has undertaken to work towards a fully restored beach from 53rd Avenue to Dewees Inlet.
Dziuban also helped oversee improvements to the city’s marina, including dredging and bulkhead replacement. In working with the Charleston County Community Development Advisory Board, she made recommendations for how the county’s grant money should be distributed.
Other accomplishments include creating the city’s intranet network system and its first ever e-newsletter.
When she first arrived on the island, the Isle of Palms’ Public Safety building was still in development, and Dziuban helped with its overall completion as well as the city’s acquisition of the Carmen R. Bunch Park with County Greenbelt funds.
In addition to her position as Assistant City Administrator, Dziuban also works as the city’s communications representative.
As such, she’s responsible for most of the island’s press releases, social media and other communication efforts. Dziuban won so many awards for her skills and accomplishments in communications, that the city eventually withdrew her name from consideration in order to let other South Carolina municipalities have a chance of winning.
Very appreciative of her assistant’s hard work as well as the strong friendship and bond the two formed, Tucker spoke effusively of Dziuban at her employee’s last council meeting on June 23.
“It’s been eight years and she’s touched so many different facets of the city,” Tucker said.
At the same meeting Mayor Dick Cronin rewarded her with a key to the city, encouraging her to “come back at any time.”
Dziuban has a Master of Arts from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from the University of New Orleans in addition to her Bachelor of Arts from Winthrop. She credits her education and intensive time spent in grad school for helping hone her craft of writing, a skill which came in very handy in her roles as website coordinator and Assistant City Administrator.
“When I first came here, I had not done this [type of] work before,” Dziuban says. “I’d never worked for city government so the writing really helped.”
After completing graduate school, Dziuban taught at the University of Tennessee’s English department for nine years as well as serving as interim director of the University’s Writing Center, whilst also editing a creative anthology, “Migrants and Stowaways: An Anthology of Journeys for the Knoxville Writers’ Guild” with fellow editor Kristin Robertson.
Since being in the Isle of Palms, she’s since written for Charleston-based publications including Beau Magazine.
Having had a long and very successful tenure working for the Isle of Palms, Dziuban now plans to return to her home of Orlando, Florida, which she left at the age of 18.
Living so far away for such a long time, she has finally felt the strong call of home, and with her brother’s impending deployment as an air force reservist, plans to focus primarily on spending time with her family. “I love the people I work with,” Emily adds, “but I want to live close to my family.”
In addressing both her colleagues as well as the citizens of Isle of Palms, Dziuban leaves her position thankful of all of her co-workers and peers.
“I definitely owe them a big thank you [as] it’s really has been a pleasure,” Dziuban says. “I’ve seen many different situations that have challenged me, so I’m grateful to everyone.”