News from The Mahurin Honors College
Ena Viteskic Demir Spotlight
- Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
Our Mahurin Honors College (MHC) Scholars come from a vast array of backgrounds and each one has a beautiful, unique story to tell. For Ena Viteskic Demir (MHC ‘09), her story began over 5,000 miles away in her native homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992, a vicious war broke out in Bosnia, forcing Ena and her family to seek refuge first in Germany and then in the United States. Ena proudly recalls how the Bowling Green community welcomed her and her family in the late 1990s allowing her to pursue her goals and passions. Because of early life experiences as a refugee, Ena developed a deep passion for the rule of law, politics, and governmental systems which has been her foundation for pursuing higher education and a career in law.
During her time at Western, Ena served as a Spirit Master for two years and was a member of the pre-law and economics club. She was also named Outstanding Junior and Senior in Political Science during her time at WKU. She credits much of her success to the skills acquired in the MHC.
“I think the MHC really honed my interest in research, writing, reading, and critical thinking analytically. Those challenging classes entailed more discussions amongst the scholars. I developed skills that are needed in various careers, but especially as a lawyer. So much of our days as lawyers consist of researching a specific type of law, figuring out how that law applies to our clients’ situation, and presenting our findings and recommendations to our clients- each aspect I am equipped to do successfully because of the MHC.”
After graduating from Western Kentucky University in 2009, with Summa Cum Laude distinction, Ena attended the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law for three years. Upon graduating from UK College of Law in 2012, Ena completed a two-year federal clerkship with the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Bowling Green. “I worked at the federal courthouse, which was a valuable experience, because I had the opportunity to observe court proceedings and assist the Judge with legal research and drafting of orders and opinions. It allowed me to gain a more practical understanding of how the legal system operates in real life.” Following the conclusion of that clerkship, Ena began her career as an attorney focusing on employment, education, transportation, and general litigation.
Ena was recently named 2022 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Education Law, in large part due to her commitment to her craft (including those late nights, blood, sweat, and tears). The recognition is through Best Lawyers, an international peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Candidates are nominated by anonymous colleagues or even an opposing attorney who has been on the other side in a case and observed impressive skill. Best Lawyers then evaluates each candidate's professional accomplishments and selects the recipients based on independent research.
“I really enjoy my work,” remarks Ena. “Representing my clients and helping them navigate legal challenges is something I love to do, but it is very special to have someone else recognize your hard work and dedication.”
As a parting piece of wisdom, Ena encourages each current MHC scholar to “meet people from all walks of life. You will learn so much from people, so surround yourself with good people, because the older I get, the more I realize that our life is so dependent on who we surround ourselves with, so find people and mentors who will help develop you into the best possible person you can be.”
Way to go Ena! We are so proud of your journey so far and cannot wait to see how far your drive and passion will take you.