Light of the studio: Remembering a wife, mother and friend


“She’s just a person with who it did not matter what was thrown at her. She grabbed on to it with enthusiasm, energy and spirit,” said Phil Gruen, interim director of the School of Design and Construction, about Dina Williamson.

Williamson, 28, was a mother, wife and student at Washington State University. She died Saturday night after her car crossed the center lane of State Route 195 and was hit by an oncoming car.

“Everyone said she was the sweetest, kindest person we ever met. She was just so nice,” said Joseph Chung, a sophomore architecture student who worked alongside Williamson at Red Bento.

Williamson was a graduate student of WSU’s School of Design and Construction, working on a three-year track to earn her graduate degree in architecture.

“She was the kind of person you want to work with. She was someone who was going to work hard,” Gruen said.

After earning her undergraduate degree in Egypt, Williamson came to the United States to begin her graduate work. She worked through a language barrier, which classmates said was a challenge she overcame.

“She was inspiring because she went back to school to get her master’s degree in Architecture. She had to learn English and was definitely one of my role models,” said Kelly Valentin, a sophomore architecture student.

Due to her language barrier, Williamson spent the Fall 2014 semester in an undergraduate sophomore level studio. According to the architecture students, they spend so much time in the studio together they get to know each other well.

“Because you spend so much time with them, they become your close friends,” said Neva Hubbert, a sophomore architecture student from Williamson’s studio. “She was like the mom of our studio. She had a microwave, fridge and drawers filled with everything you would need,”

In addition to being a full-time graduate student, Williamson also worked at Red Bento in Pullman.

Chung said the one word he would use to describe Williamson is, “joy.”

“She exuded it. She let us know how much she loved her kids — it was clear,” Chung said. “She let us into her life. I want her family to know that.”

Hubbert said Williamson would sit in the front row during class, often nodding and raising her hand. She was not afraid to ask questions.

“She was like a light. She walked into a room and lighted up that room. She just had a wonderful soul,” Gruen said.

In honor of Williamson, a candlelight vigil will be held tomorrow at 8 p.m. It will begin at the Carpenter Hall courtyard and proceed to Terrell Mall. Also, Red Bento will be donating 50 percent of Thursday night’s sales from 5 – 7 p.m. to Williamson’s family.