Board of Directors

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.

Maura Toro-Morn

Vice Chairperson

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.”

Jessica Jones


Jessica Jones is an attorney with 10 years of experience, working primarily in the areas of family law and criminal defense.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from Sothern Illinois University in 2008 and is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Missouri.

Jessica joined the Immigration Project Board in 2016 and currently serves as treasurer.  She is an active member of the McLean County Bar Association serving as cochair of the Lawyers in the Classroom Committee and chair of the Family Law Committee.  She is also active in the community and serves as president of the McLean County Recovery Court Advisory Board, President of the 11thJudicial Circuit Mediators Association, and Secretary of the McLean County Crime Stoppers.

Jessica resides in McLean county with her family.

Matt Kuenning


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.

Laurie L. Bergner, Ph.D.

Chairperson Emeritus

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!

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.

Chris Bergin

Chris specializes in immigration law at Shiller Preyar in Chicago. After receiving his B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University, he attended Indiana University School of Law from which he graduated Cum Laude in 1992.  He moved to Chicago after graduation and began working for the Victor C. Neumann Association, a not-for-profit agency helping integrate developmentally disabled and mentally ill adults into community-based residential settings.

Currently, he is the lead Immigration Litigation attorney at Shiller Preyar. He has handled over 4000 immigration court cases, completed over a thousand immigration applications and interviews and consulted with thousands of clients.

Chris enjoys politics, reading, hiking and other outdoor activities. He joined the board in 2019.

Peter Borowski

Peter Borowski is currently retired after a 38 year career in the insurance industry. Pete’s work experience focused in the area of accounting and finance and retired as Vice President and Corporate Controller of a $12 billion Insurance organization. He attended Illinois State University where he received a BS in Accounting. Pete also achieved his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate in 1976. In addition, Pete also earned certifications as Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Property/Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and Financial Principal with FINRA, which regulates the securities dealer industry.

Pete has also served on various civic and community Boards of Directors primarily in his hometown of Bloomington, and McLean County. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of his local electric cooperative.

Pete currently resides in Bloomington, Illinois with his wife and family.

Cindy Buys

Cindy Galway Buys is the Interim Dean and Professor of Law at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Law, where she teaches Immigration Law among other courses. She joined the Board of the Immigration Project in 2019.

Dean Buys directs the Immigration Detention Project at SIU Law which provides legal information to immigration detainees at the Pulaski County Detention Center. She is a past chair and current member of the International and Immigration Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and has served on the Illinois Task Force on Human Trafficking. She also is a member of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. She engages in pro bono service by representing asylum clients and providing research and advice to nonprofit organizations on asylum and refugee issues. Dean Buys has held leadership positions in several organizations in addition to the ISBA, including the American Society of International Law and the American Association of Law Schools.

Prior to joining the SIU School of Law faculty in 2001, Professor Buys spent ten years in public and private practice in Washington, D.C. She has an LL.M. from Georgetown University School of Law in International and Comparative Law; a J.D. degree and a M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University, and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. Her full curriculum vita may be found here.

Jeff Crabill

Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Jeff moved to Bloomington in 2012 for a legal position at State Farm.  He met his wife, an emigrant from China, at Franklin College where he obtained his B.A. in economics, journalism and political. He later received his juris doctorate from Indiana University Law School, Indianapolis.  Jeff and his wife have two teenage daughters.

Through Prairie State Legal Services and The Immigration Project, he has handled pro bono matters involving divorce, criminal expungement and family visa applications.  In 2018, he received the Lifesaver Award from Prairie State for his pro bono service. He graduated from the Multicultural Leadership Program in 2017 and currently serves as a facilitator for the program.  He is also on Bloomington’s Cultural Commission and serves as a board member for Heartland Head Start.  In 2019, he started a four-year term on the Bloomington City Council.

Immigration has impacted his life in such a positive way.  When he and his family arrived in Bloomington, they found the City very welcoming and very diverse with a significant immigrant population.  It was hard to watch the hostility that our current President and his administration have towards immigrants. His political involvement started with helping to try and pass a Welcoming Cities ordinance.  He marched in 2017 and during 2018 spoke at council meetings supporting the ordinance. Most recently, he attended protests in Dwight, Illinois, against an immigrant detention center.  Jeff feels fortunate to have been able to work on two immigration pro bono cases through The Immigration Project.  Just to meet with the family members that wanted to bring a loved one into this country reminded him how personal immigration can be. For him, it has been so gratifying to learn that in each of his cases, the family member successfully came to the United States.

Ricardo Díaz

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.

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 PhD.  at Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois where he obtained Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).  Tim joined the Board in 2014.

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.

Kate Radder

Kate obtained her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her law degree from Marquette University. Kate focuses exclusively on immigration law and currently works in Elgin, Illinois as an associate attorney for the Law Offices of Shirley Sadjadi. She has also been a regular volunteer attorney with several nonprofit’s naturalization clinics.

Kate’s passion for immigration law began when she was living in Madrid, Spain, as an immigrant herself. While in Spain, Kate lived with a family from Ecuador. She witnessed them go through the Spanish immigration process and was there when the father received his citizenship. Obtaining his Spanish citizenship brought him and his family to tears, and it was this joy that inspired Kate to become an immigration attorney in the United States.

Kate is a member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where she also serves as Co-Chair for the USCIS Chicago Field Office Liaison Committee. She is also an active member of the Chicago Bar Association. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, read, exercise, and spoil her dog, Marvin.

Kevin Raica

Kevin Raica is an Associate Attorney with Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC. He has focused his practice exclusively in the areas of immigration law since 2004, including family-based immigration, waivers, removal defense, asylum, and employment-based immigration. Kevin practices before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Kevin is currently the Co-Chair of the of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s Chicago Chapter Executive Office for Immigration Review Liaison Committee, and he has been Co-Chair since 2015. He also served as Co-Chair of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations liaison committee from 2013-2015. He has spoken on immigration issues and provided trainings both locally and nationally.

Kevin obtained his Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2004 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Northwestern University in 2000.