Two Key Senior Staff Promotions at de Nicola Center

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

dCEC Leadership Promotions May 2023
Margaret Cabaniss and Laura Gonsiorek

Two senior staff leaders of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture have received promotions, following the Center’s extraordinary success and increased impact, catalyzed by its five-year strategic plan.

“The de Nicola Center has seen a tremendous increase in impact and success following the generous naming gift by the de Nicola Family, announced in 2019,” said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center. “We have been blessed by the support of the College of Arts and Letters during this time, including our incredible dean, Sarah Mustillo, as well as the generous contributions of a growing network of individuals who support the Center’s distinctive mission to share the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition, both here at Notre Dame and in the broader public square.”

Margaret Cabaniss, formerly program manager for the de Nicola Center’s research and publications, has been promoted to the newly created position of assistant director. In this role, Cabaniss will execute the de Nicola Center's strategic priorities and ensure ongoing excellence and sustained growth across its four areas of programming: Culture of Life initiatives, mission stewardship, research and publications, and student formation.

Cabaniss joined the dCEC in 2014, after having served as managing editor for a leading Catholic magazine. In her time at the de Nicola Center, she has managed the annual Fall Conference, growing it to the largest annual academic conference at Notre Dame (regularly drawing over 1,000 participants each year) and cementing its reputation as the most important academic forum for wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conversations that engage the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition. She has also stewarded the de Nicola Center’s four book series, with 28 books published since 2014.

The de Nicola Center is also pleased to announce that Laura Gonsiorek, previously the Center’s associate director for operations, has been promoted to the role of senior associate director. In this expanded role, Gonsiorek will envision and spearhead the strategy of the de Nicola Center, catalyze Center growth, and ensure mission advancement while providing operational oversight of and support for staff, programs, and activities.

Gonsiorek, a "Double Domer," received her bachelor's degree in theology and her masters in nonprofit administration from the University of Notre Dame. Upon completion of her masters degree, she was recognized with the Thomas Harvey Academic Achievement Award, given annually to the students with the highest overall GPA. Over the next year, Gonsiorek has been selected to participate in the Principles of Leadership Program, a university-wide development program for campus leaders. During her time with the Center, Gonsiorek’s strategic vision has spurred growth in all areas, increasing the size and efficiency of the Center’s staff, substantially growing and stewarding the Center’s endowment, and establishing operational practices that are widely recognized as best in class among other leading mission-driven organizations on campus and off.

“Laura and Margaret have provided transformative support and leadership through a time of incredible success for the de Nicola Center,” Snead said. “They helped create and refine the programs that we consider the heart and soul of our work here at the dCEC, including the Fall Conference, the Vita Institute, and the Sorin Fellows program. We could think of no two individuals better suited to guide the de Nicola Center through its next stage of growth in impact.”