The Immigration Project

Serving downstate Illinois with immigrant legal services.

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Rompf Bruen

Elizabeth Rompf Bruen is an immigration attorney with Scott D. Pollock and Associates, P.C., in Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Board of the Immigration Project because she appreciates its commitment to providing quality legal services to the underserved immigrant communities in downstate Illinois.

Ms. Rompf Bruen has contributed to AILA’s Immigration & Nationality Handbook and Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers, and she frequently speaks on immigration issues relating to employment based immigration, family based immigration, naturalization, removal defense, and advocacy for vulnerable populations including asylum seekers and survivors of domestic violence and other crimes. She was selected as a Rising Star in immigration law practice by Chicago Magazine and is a past chair of the Immigration & Nationality Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.

Ms. Rompf Bruen currently co-chairs the Office of Chief Council Liaison Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Chicago Chapter, serves as a member of its Ethics Committee, was a member of the Midwest Regional Conference Planning Committee for the Chicago Chapter, and is a past chair of its Asylum Office and Executive Office of Immigration Review Liaison Committees.

Ms. Rompf Bruen previously was a staff attorney and clinical instructor for the DePaul College of Law Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic in Chicago. She also served as a judicial law clerk for the Executive Office of Immigration Review and was a case manager and legal coordinator for the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture.

Ms. Rompf Bruen graduated, cum laude, from DePaul College of Law, and she received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in Government and International Affairs.

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!

Randall S. Rapp

Randall S. Rapp has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1997, serving two terms as President and various other board 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 Of Counsel to Kozacky & Weitzel, P.C., 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 a 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 (f/k/a Midwest Immigrant Rights Center), now a very large, private legal services agency based in Chicago but with a strong, national presence 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, Illinois State Bar Association, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Ricardo Díaz

Ricardo Díaz presently works 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.

Until recently he served as an independent research consultant in fields that benefit and learn from Latino communities in the U.S.  He held contracts with Congreso de Latinos Unidos, the Educational Testing Service, and the Certified Contractors Network. He is principal at Xpenn Consulting and president of Superior Language Inc.  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.

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 4 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.

Carolyn Nadeau

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.

Matt Kuenning

Matt Kuenning is an immigration attorney in Champaign, Illinois.  He was born in Germany to U.S. citizen parents but grew up in a small town in Ohio.  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 Spanish.

Matt’s wife’s work brought him to Champaign, where he studied law at the University of Illinois College of Law and graduated summa cum laude in 2003. He then worked for two years as a law clerk for then Justice, now Chief 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 his practice included various areas of law, including immigration law.  He gradually realized that for him, immigration is more interesting and fun than any other area of law.  
Since 2007, Matt has served as an adjunct professor, teaching Immigration Law at the UIUC College of Law.

In September 2011 Matt opened Kuenning Law Office, Ltd. to help foreign nationals, their families, and their employers with immigration matters. Matt takes great satisfaction in helping people navigate the U.S. immigration system so they can achieve their goals and improve their lives.  He strongly believes that by helping immigrants and visitors, he helps the United States live up to its ideals and become a stronger and better home for all. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association and is happy and honored to join the Board of the Immigration Project.

Adrian Barr

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.

Jessica Jones

Coming Soon!

Tim Flavin

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 Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois. Tim joined the Board in 2014.

David Hirst

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.

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