Welcome Two New Faces to the Brandeis School of Law
The Brandeis School of Law is pleased to welcome two new faces to the law school community this semester, both of whom will be working closely with the student body. Jennifer T. DiSanza arrived in Louisville this summer to become Assistant Dean of Student Life, while Scott A. Hite is pleased to take over as the Director of Academic Success.
Both newcomers wish to forge a strong partnership with the law school’s students, and encourage students to stop by their offices, Rooms 212 (Hite) and 216 (DiSanza) to ask for guidance, information, or just to chat about thelaw school experience.
Here is some brief background information about these individuals:
Jennifer T. DiSanza
Assistant Dean of Student Life
After spending the last 14 years in law school student services at two different schools, the University of Maryland School of Law and Capital University Law School, Jennifer DiSanza arrived in Louisville this summer and said that she has been overwhelmed by the “Southern hospitality” and generosity of the faculty, staff, and students in the short time she’s been in the Bluegrass State.
Dean DiSanza received her law degree from the University of Maryland in 2002, her master’s degree in strategic human resources from Johns Hopkins University in 2005, and her undergraduate degree is in business, specifically human resources, from Miami University in Ohio. In fact, Dean DiSanza enrolled in law school because of her extensive experience in human resources and her desire to “move up the corporate ladder” at a large manufacturing company where she was employed and where everyone in the corporate employee and labor relations department seemed to have a law degree.
Having moved multiple times for the company in a five-year span, Dean DiSanza wanted an assurance that she could stay in Baltimore to complete her law degree in Maryland, but the company responded that she would, unfortunately, miss out on promotion opportunities as a result.
“It was at that time, I ‘accidentally’ fell into student services, because I was active at my law school alma mater, and the soon-to-be Assistant Dean of Student Affairs needed a director,” DiSanza said. “It was an almost seamless transition from HR to student services.”
DiSanza regards her career move into student services as the best decision she’s ever made.
“I believe the partnership between student life and academics is core to the mission of the school, without one, the other suffers,” she said. “Students need support in all aspects of their law school education, and that is what Student Life is here to do. As student advocates, Student Life personnel are here to listen to issues, concerns and stressors, and try to help students cope with the things that happen while in law school. My mantra is, ‘life happens while you are in law school.’ You can’t expect everything around you to stop for three years, while you are getting your degree. That’s where we come in.”
When she’s not exploring new places, listening to live music, or visiting with family, friends, or her dog in her spare time, Dean DiSanza is committed to collaborating among the different constituencies at the law school, overseeing and enhancing the extra- and co-curricular activities at the school, and improving the overall learning experience here at Brandeis.
Her number one tip for students? “If you are having trouble, do not wait; seek out assistance as soon as you feel something isn’t right.”
Scott A. Hite
Director of Academic Success
In his new role as Director of Academic Success, what he describes as the “perfect fit,” Scott Hite has so many tips for how to be successful in law school, that he found it difficult to think of just one when pressed for answer. That said, Hite settled on reminding students to “stay diligent,” because “diligence will carry over to your professional career.”
“I have already noticed how much the students respect the professors, so creating a solid partnership between my office and the students is a fundamental ongoing objective of mine,” he said. “I want to make sure that every student views my office as a resource for opportunity and success while they attend law school. My door must be open to them, and I must be always approachable.”
A native of nearby Bardstown, Hite has been drawn to a career involving the law since childhood. One decade after earning his undergraduate degree in English and mass communications at Bellarmine University, one decade later, Hite attended and graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. While in Lansing, Hite clerked at a small criminal defense firm, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and for then-Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, who later served as the Governor of Michigan. In Louisville, Hite has externed at the Louisville Public Defender Office, in addition to serving as an applications consultant for LexisNexis for a number of years and as an associate attorney for a small insurance defense firm. Most recently, Hite returned to Bellarmine to earn his master’s degree in communications.
When not helping students in their law school pursuits, you can find Hite, an avid golfer, finishing a travel and review book on the top public golf courses in Kentucky, cycling the back roads of Oldham County, collecting batch bourbon, or cheering on his favorite sports teams at his home in Prospect, where he lives with his wife and four dogs.