Known as a professor of journalism to his students at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Dr. Michael Dorsher is a mentor to many.
However, he says one of his fondest teaching achievements was when he trained friend Erin Randall to take over his post as president of the Fulbright Association Minnesota Chapter.
“She was a fantastic bridge between us old guys and the younger graduate students who would come from all around the world,” said Dorsher.
The fellow Fulbright alum said Randall’s mission in life was to bring greater justice to an unjust world.
“She died in an unjust way,” he said.
The 34-year-old humanitarian was killed in an early morning crash on Sunday, March 9th, 2015.
“She was so smart,” said her longtime friend and colleague. “Full of energy. Full of ideas.”
As the news of Randall’s sudden death spread throughout the globe to the many exchange students she befriended during her years in the Fulbright Program, the loss has left this international scholar looking at the world in a different way.
“It means that the world is not as good a place today as it was a day and a half ago,” he said.
Erin Randall’s family held a funeral service on Saturday, March 14 at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in Randall’s hometown of Le Sueur.
Randall worked for a time for MinnCAN and more recently for Wilder Research. The organizations issued the following statements on Monday following her tragic death.
“We’re incredibly saddened to learn of the senseless and untimely death of Erin Randall, who was a team member at MinnCAN in 2013. Erin was a remarkably caring individual, with a passion for social justice. From her Fulbright scholarship in Bangladesh to her many years of nonprofit work, Erin was committed to making Minnesota—and the whole world—a better place. We extend our deepest condolences to Erin’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
– The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now Executive Director Daniel Sellers
“Erin was a compassionate, bright person and a well-respected colleague. She dedicated her career to serving others, and in her time at Wilder she accomplished a great deal in support of older adults and caregivers in the community. Through her hard work, kindness and energetic spirit, she established herself as an advocate and leader in aging services. We are shocked and saddened by her tragic death. Our thoughts are with Erin’s family and friends in this difficult time.”
– Amherst H. Wilder Foundation President and CEO, Dr. MayKao Y.
We lost a beautiful member of the Fulbright alumni family on Sunday in Minnesota- Erin Randall. She had served as president for the Minnesota chapter for 2 years and was a current board member.She was a very kind and compassionate person with a zest for life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Erin’s family and the Minnesota chapter board who have lost a dear friend and colleague as well.
– Fulbright Association Senior Director, Shaz Akram.
Erin was born on July 15, 1980 in St. Peter, Minnesota to Laurence Dean & Elaine (Schmidt) Randall She attended St. Anne’s Grade School. She graduated from Le Sueur High School in 1998. She attended and received her degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato.
Erin’s passion for culture, language and social justice led her to live and study abroad in Spain in college and later to spend 2 years in Bangladesh, on a Fulbright Scholarship, learning the language and working closely with authorities dealing with issues to combat human trafficking.
When she returned home she devoted her time, energy and gifts in non-profit work; grant writing and advocacy with C.L.U.E.S. (“Comunidades Latinos Unidos En Servicio”—Latinos United in Community Service), The Wilder Foundation and other social justice organizations. Erin dedicated her life to working with and for the under-privileged and disadvantaged. She enjoyed her volunteer time as a youth worker with social programs in Le Sueur and Nicollet Counties, tutoring immigrants with English Language Learning and stayed very connected with the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Erin’s love flowed freely as a proud and dedicated aunt and friend. She enjoyed traveling, language learning, literature, music, salsa dancing, cooking and experiencing all of the people and cultures that made up the world she loved. Erin considered herself a deeply spiritual person and enjoyed attending weekly services at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Center in Minneapolis.
Erin is survived by her parents, L. Dean & Elaine Randall of Le Sueur
Siblings; Laurie “Laura” (Tito) Pezán of Plymouth, MN
Bill (Mary) Randall of Le Sueur, MN
Melissa Randall of Le Sueur, MN
Nieces and Nephews; Robert & Teresa Pezán; Justin, Andrew & Matthew Randall
Ambriel, Alexandria & Aiden Fulghum.
Grandmother; Harriet Schmidt of Le Center, MN
She is preceded in death by her grandparents; William Schmidt, Paige & Mable Randall.