SMC professor Evan Somers passes on

The loss of Evan Somers on Oct. 11 impacted many of the staff members and the students at Santa Monica College campus.

Somers died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 52.

He was an alumnus of SMC as well as a screenwriting teacher for 11 years. Somers' experience as a writer for such shows as "Star Trek," "Baywatch," and "Deep Space Nine" brought world experience to the classroom and served to illustrate the amount he achieved at a young age.

"Students prized his droll sense of humor and keen knowledge of how best to tell a story for film and television," said Barbara Baird, former chair of the Communications Department, in a press release on Oct 12.

Somers overcame many struggles, particularly after his spinal cord injury. At the age of 16, Somers became a quadriplegic after diving into a pool and hitting his head. Despite the challenge, Somers completed his work and college career while in a wheelchair.

Somers brought his dog Mariah each day to school as well as to his graduation at the SMC Amphitheater in June 1982. While attending SMC, he deejayed for KCRW, and broadcasted live everyday from noon till 1 p.m. The following year, Somers worked with former President of SMC Richard Moore to build a modified gym for the physically challenged in the basement of the Liberal Arts building in 1983.

After his time at SMC, Somers transferred to University of California, Santa Barbara earning a B.A. in psychology and sociology. Later, he received a Masters degree in communications from Loyola Marymount University.

Somers spent the early ‘80s raising awareness for the issues associated with the disabled. His most recent project was the documentary, "The Seeker" in which he reached out for a meeting with Christopher Reeves in regards to the cure for spinal cord injuries. The documentary also documented his invention of the handicapped motorcycle that he rode to Sturges, North Dakota to enlighten people about the cause. The film won three film festival awards.

His mother Leonora Somers, sister Bianca Somers Ohle, brother-in-law Richard Ohle, nephew Kevin Somers Ohle and niece Krysta Somers Ohle survive Somers.

Somers' colleague and former student, Speech Professor Deborah Kraut, said, "Indeed, he served as a role model for us all."

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