Elizabeth Rompf Bruen
Elizabeth Rompf Bruen joined the Board of Directors for the Immigration Project in 2008, and she became its President in 2017. Ms. Rompf Bruen was raised in a small town in Kentucky, and she is committed to supporting the Immigration Project’s mission of providing qualify legal services and information to the immigrant communities in downstate Illinois.
Ms. Rompf Bruen co-founded Delgado Rompf Bruen LLC, and she has concentrated her practice in the area of immigration and nationality law since 2004. She has been recognized as a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers and a Leading Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, a distinction held by only 5% of Illinois attorneys. She frequently speaks on immigration issues.
Ms. Rompf Bruen represents clients in all areas of immigration law including employment-based immigration, employer immigration compliance, family-based immigration, removal proceedings, naturalization, and appeals. She represents clients before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State.
Prior to co-founding Delgado Rompf Bruen LLC, Ms. Rompf Bruen spent 10 years in private practice with a Chicago immigration law practice. She was also a staff attorney and clinical instructor for the DePaul College of Law Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, a judicial law clerk at the Executive Office of Immigration Review, and a case manager/legal coordinator for the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors and Torture.
In addition to her work with the Immigration Project, Ms. Rompf Bruen has served as chair of the Immigration & Nationality Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and the USCIS Chicago Field Office, USCIS Asylum Office, Executive Office of Immigration Review, and ICE Office of Chief Counsel Liaison Committees for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Chicago Chapter.
Ms. Rompf Bruen graduated cum laude from DePaul College of Law and the University of Notre Dame du Lac. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois.
David Hirst completed his undergraduate degree of Spanish Education at Illinois Wesleyan in 1980 and received a Master’s in Spanish American Literature from Illinois State University in 1998. Through college he worked with the Illinois Farm Worker Ministry where he edited and published a community newsletter called La Voz del Campo, set up a community garden, advocated for farm worker needs to the company, and helped organize support for The United Farm Workers Movement. When David graduated from Illinois Wesleyan, he worked as the recruiter/liaison between the school and the migrant communities in the Princeville area as well as working with migrant farm workers and their children in the Peoria area. The summers after David graduated, he taught Spanish in Lincoln, Illinois and in the Normal Unit 5 school system where he served as the head of the World Language Department at Normal West for 12 years. After completing his master’s, he attained National Board Certification in World Languages other than English. During his time in the education field, he was awarded a Golden Apple Fellowship for his excellence in teaching. Due to his interest in world culture, David has been active as a board member with GlobalFest Illinois, the statewide World Languages and Culture Festival, since its inception as well as a lifetime member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. David recently retired from the World Language Department Chair position in May of 2015 and joined The Immigration Project’s board the same year.
Matt Kuenning is an immigration attorney in Champaign. He attended Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and then Fordham University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy. In between he lived and worked as a volunteer for a year in Nicaragua, where he learned to speak Spanish.
Matt’s wife’s work brought them to Champaign. After teaching philosophy for two years, Matt attended the University of Illinois College of Law where he graduated summa cum laude in 2003. He then clerked for two years Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court. From 2005 to 2011, he was an associate at the firm of Nally, Bauer, Feinen, & Mann, P.C., in Champaign, where he practiced law in several areas. From September of 2011 until September of 2015 Matt was a solo practitioner practicing exclusively in immigration law. In September of 2015 he became an associate at Erwin, Martinkus & Cole, Ltd. in Champaign, where he continues to practice only immigration
From 2007 until 2015 Matt was an Adjunct Professor teaching Immigration Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association.
Adrian Barr is the Managing Attorney of Prairie State Legal Services’ Bloomington Office. Adrian was born and grew up in London, England. He and his family immigrated to the south suburbs of Chicago when he was 13 years old. He became a United States Citizen through naturalization.
Adrian received his B.A. in 2000 from the University of Illinois and his J.D. in 2003 from the University of Illinois College of Law. Adrian began his legal career with Prairie State Legal Services as a Staff Attorney in 2003. In 2008, Adrian took a position as an associate attorney at Kingery Durree Wakeman & O’Donnell in Peoria, Illinois, and practiced general civil litigation in both State and Federal Courts. In 2011, Adrian became Managing Attorney of Prairie State Legal Services Bloomington Office.
Adrian’s experience has given him strong interest in promoting immigration. Adrian joined the Board in 2015.
Laurie L. Bergner, Ph.D.
Laurie L. Bergner, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with over 40 years’ experience in psychotherapy. She has a private practice, where she sees adults, specializing in marital and family therapy. She has also been involved with the League of Women Voters, including especially many projects promoting independent judiciary and court observation.
Dr. Bergner received the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award, as well as the Illinois League of Women Voters’ Carrie Chapman Catt Leadership Award. A strong interest in promoting immigration and improving their lives has been part of her life and values, which makes her proud to be an Immigration Project Board member!
Dr. Seyed Ali
Ricardo Díaz has recently returned to his own firm as an independent research consultant in fields that benefit and learn from Latino communities in the U.S. In Philadelphia, he held contracts with Congreso de Latinos Unidos, the Educational Testing Service, and the Certified Contractors Network. Mr. Diaz leads Xpenn Consulting and Superior Language Inc. and his group has expanded beyond translation and intercultural training to developing positive youth development with Latino families.
Until recently, he worked for the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the Office of Extension. His specific duties include developing outreach models to Spanish-speaking communities, grant writing, helping county offices strengthen their presence and programs among Latinos, and developing software to disseminate key projects in developing countries.
He is vested in community organizing and his work with immigrants has included facilitating discussions among the larger agencies that serve immigrants in the greater Philadelphia area and in central Illinois. He serves on the board of the CU Immigration Forum.
Mr. Díaz has done graduate work in sociolinguistics and language acquisition at Brigham Young University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught ESL and Spanish at all levels and for both non-formal and university sectors since 1988. A native of Mexico and the father of 6 children, his off duty work in Philadelphia was noted with the Martin Luther King Community Service Award in 2004; and in 2007 he was recognized by Univision’s Orgullo Hispano, WFMZ-TV Latino Heritage, Impacto’s 50 most influential Latinos, and in Al Dia’s newsmakers.
Timothy (Tim) Flavin lives in a small, rural community approximately 20 east of Decatur, IL, where he has lived with his wife for 25 years. They do not have children, but do have two very spoiled cats. Tim and his wife both come from large families where they have 23 nieces and nephews.
Tim currently serves as the Director of Mi Raza Community Center, which is an affiliate of the Douglas County Health Department, located in Arcola, Illinois. Mi Raza Community Center, founded in 2004 (of which he is a co-founder), serves the needs of the growing Hispanic/Latino population in Douglas County and the surrounding area. He is also responsible for the coordinating and marketing of all programs at Mi Raza, which include, but are not limited to, health programs, immigration programs, youth programs, and other services. Tim is an active member of many local, regional, and State-wide organizations that serve Latinos. He assists with the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and teaches Civics for the US Citizenship exam preparation class Mi Raza offers.
Tim graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. Upon graduation from the U of I, he entered the world of banking serving as an Agricultural Lending Officer and Trust Officer for 22 years and as President of a rural bank for 8 years. Tim has served as member of the Board of Directors of numerous Non-Profit and Governmental organizations, including having served as the Mayor of the rural community where he has lived for 12 years. Tim is also a 5th generation owner and operator a small farm in Champaign County, Illinois. Currently Tim is pursuing a PhD. at Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois where he obtained Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). Tim joined the Board in 2014.
Carolyn Nadeau has taught Spanish literature, culture, and language classes at Illinois Wesleyan University since 1994. Although she specializes in sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, she also teaches the Spanish for Social Justice class and the Medical Spanish and Culture Competency for Health Care class. For both of these courses, students work in the Bloomington-Normal community with various agencies and institutions, including the Immigration Project. In this way, students have the opportunity to improve their own language and cultural competency skills while helping to serve our local Latino population.
Carolyn is also a member of the Illinois People’s Action and is committed to supporting Immigration Reform, reducing deportations of undocumented immigrants, and helping to educate our community on the moral, cultural, historic and economic reasons why a diverse community is beneficial to McLean County, to Illinois, and to our nation. Elected to the Board in 2014, she is honored to serve the Immigration Project.
Randall S. Rapp
Randall S. Rapp hass been a member of the Board of Directors since 1997, serving two terms as President as well as other offices. Randy has been a practicing lawyer since 1976, primarily in commercial litigation, general business law and alternative dispute resolution. He is an active arbitrator and mediator. Randy is a member of Rapp Law Group LLC, in Chicago Illinois.
Beginning in the early 1980’s, in connection with Chicago Bar Association Human Rights Committee work, Randy became involved in organizing representation of and directly representing immigrants on pro bono basis, at first in claims for political asylum. He has successfully represented or supervised the successful representation of many immigrant clients, including several torture victims. In 1985, Randy was one of the co-founders of the National Immigrant Justice Center, formally known as Midwest Immigrant Rights Center, now a large private legal services agency based in Chicago but also national force in immigrant rights.
The immigration Project provides practically all of the immigration legal services available to poor immigrants in Illinois outside of Chicago and its collar counties. Randy is devoted to the Project and its incredible service on a very small budget over most of Illinois. Randy is a member of the American Arbitration Association, American Bar Association, Chicago, McHenry County and Lake County Bar Associations and Illinois State Bar Association. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and of the American Bar Foundation.
Maura I. Toro-Morn is a faculty member of the Illinois State University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 1993 and is the Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program.
Maura has written the Migration and Immigration: A Global View and Immigrant Women in the Neoliberal Age; she is currently working on her third book, Puerto Ricans in Illinois
Through both her research and teaching, she is devoted to investigating, teaching, and working toward equality for people on issues of ethnicity, race, gender, and social class. This commitment was recognized in 1998 when Toro-Morn was awarded the David Strand Diversity Award. She regularly teaches courses for the Women’s Studies Program and and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program.
For her, “for immigrants like myself, we will always be connected and will exist in a transnational field, always seeking a connection to our new home.”