Gonsiorek, Cabaniss Accept New Roles at the University and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

Margaret Cabaniss and Laura Gonsiorek
Margaret Cabaniss and Laura Gonsiorek

Laura Gonsiorek, senior associate director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, has accepted a position as associate director of administration at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame, effective February 15, 2024.

"For almost ten years, Laura has been the most essential element of success in every dimension of the de Nicola Center's work," said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center. "During that time, she has led initiatives that have transformed the Center—tripling its staff, implementing a strategic plan to direct its growth, and leading a highly effective, mission-driven team in support of the Center's efforts. She has been an indispensable colleague, one of the most impressive people I've had the pleasure of working with. While she will be dearly missed, I know she will put her many gifts and talents in service of the mission of our friends at LEO."

Gonsiorek joined the de Nicola Center staff in 2014, where she helped expand existing Center programming and launch a variety of new initiatives, including the Center's Sorin Fellows Program for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, now more than 600 strong. She served as associate director for operations for six years before being promoted to senior associate director in 2023. During the last year, Gonsiorek oversaw the redesign of the de Nicola Center's organizational structure and spearheaded the renovation of state-of-the-art office space in Flanner Hall to support the Center's growth and strategic priorities.

Reflecting on the last ten years, Gonsiorek shared: "It has been a great honor and privilege to build the de Nicola Center alongside truly exceptional colleagues and partners. I cannot put into words the depth of my gratitude to Carter, whose friendship and mentorship have meant so much to me and my family, as well as the whole de Nicola Center community. I'm truly proud of both the meaningful work we've pursued and the lasting friendships we've built, all in service of sharing the true, the good, and the beautiful, both at Our Lady's University and beyond."

With this change, Director O. Carter Snead and incoming Director Jennifer Newsome Martin (Program of Liberal Studies, Theology) have enthusiastically promoted Margaret Cabaniss to the role of senior associate director.

"None of the dCEC’s accomplishments over the past ten years would have been possible without the extraordinary wisdom, judgment, creativity, and energy of Margaret Cabaniss," Snead said. "There is no one better to assume the role of senior associate director."

Cabaniss joined the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture in 2014, first serving as the Center's research and publications program manager before being promoted to assistant director in 2023. During her time at the Center, Cabaniss helped expand the academic and public profile of the Center's annual Fall Conference, now the most important and intellectually engaging interdisciplinary conference for scholars and students interested in exploring questions of freedom, authentic human dignity, and the common good. She developed and re-launched the Center's various book series with Notre Dame Press, publishing 28 award-winning titles since 2016. She also administered the Center's graduate and professional fellowships and visiting fellowship program. In her role as assistant director, she has overseen and integrated all of the Center's substantive pillars—student formation, academic programming and research, and culture of life initiatives.

"Throughout my time at the de Nicola Center," Gonsiorek added, "Margaret’s dedication and unwavering commitment have been essential to all of our successes. Her unflagging excellence has become a signature of the de Nicola Center."

Snead concluded, "Margaret and Laura have been an incredible team these last ten years. Thanks to their work, there is no question that the de Nicola Center, under the leadership of my good friend Professor Martin, is poised to achieve even greater success in the years to come."