In the Spotlight is an opportunity for the campus community to get to know one another better. The goal is to build Eastern’s community by becoming familiar with the faces of faculty and staff members.
Name: Diane Somerday
Title: Interim Director of Field Education
Department: School of Social Work
Number of years at Eastern: 20 years in October
Brief personal/professional description:
I grew up in Wilbur, Washington. My dad, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, farmed and raised Registered Angus. My mom, who just turned 85, was a caterer for weddings and is still the best cook in town. She took after her parents who were proprietors of Ma’s Café, the 8 Bar B Motel, Bell’s Trailer Park and the Billy Burger (which was named after my uncle and still has the best milkshakes around). I met my husband Ray when I was in the 6th grade and he was in the 7th. I vividly remember as his family walked up the sidewalk of my grandparents motel to rent a suite while they looked for a house in Wilbur. I was “tending” the motel while my grandma was at the store. The rest is history and we will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary in March. We adore our three daughters (and their spouses) and four grandchildren, and spend time with them whenever we can. We are enjoying the beautiful home we built ourselves. My husband grows a huge garden, and I harvest, can and freeze the produce. We enjoy the fruits of our labor year round and love to share the abundance of each successful harvest. We work together and are at the wonderful stage in life where we don’t sweat the small stuff. We finally have Netflix and are living the dream.
As an EWU alum, and first generation student, it has been my pleasure to work with hundreds of students, advising and encouraging them as they navigate their academic journey. I was the Coordinator of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies for the School of Social Work and the College of Social Sciences until January 2, 2019, when I started as Interim Director of Field Education for the School of Social Work. EWU has provided years of opportunities for me, both as a student and employee.
Favorite book: I’m not one who can sit long enough to read a book, and consider it a treat to be able to read a People Magazine when I’m in a waiting room or getting a pedicure.
Favorite movie: I’ve seen so many movies, I can’t think of just one. It would be easier to think of my unnamed least favorite movie, where years ago my husband and I and my aunt and uncle all fell asleep in the movie theater. We laugh about that to this day.
Favorite quote: When I think I’m the one in control and things are not going my way I remind myself of Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Favorite restaurant: Dick’s Hamburgers in Spokane. Even after 45 years it’s still a great place for a date with my husband. The same women, who are now owners, work there and take orders. It’s very nostalgic, other than now they take cards. Arturo’s in Cheney is our favorite Mexican. Lastly, anytime we are in Hawaii we don’t miss a trip to Duke’s.
Favorite vacation: I love summer and any day boating on Lake Roosevelt with my family is a vacation for me. My husband and I have traveled to the Hawaiian Islands several times, and we have traveled extensively to many other places in the U.S. to watch our grandchildren play hockey and soccer, and dance in ballet productions like the Nutcracker.
If I could do anything today I would take my family to Germany, where my husband was born, to meet and spend time with his relatives. But, the reality is after living in a 40×80 shop for 9 years, I’m perfectly content being at home to enjoy my fabulous kitchen and walk-in closet.