Research Achievement Award

The Arts & Letters Research Achievement Award, established by Dean Sarah Mustillo in 2022–23, is bestowed on one member of the tenured faculty in the College who has demonstrated outstanding and significant scholarly achievement.

The awardee has a strong and sustained record of scholarly accomplishment, distinguished by an exceptional publication record and corresponding evidence of disciplinary impact. The faculty member demonstrates extraordinary innovation or creativity, leadership in their field, and engagement with Notre Dame’s research and educational mission. To be eligible for nomination, individuals must have been on the faculty at Notre Dame for at least five consecutive years.

Inaugural Winner: E. Mark Cummings


E. Mark Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology, was awarded the 2023 Arts & Letters Research Achievement Award. Cummings is a prolific and influential scholar working to discover the means by which family relationships and community contexts affect children’s development between early childhood and later adolescence.

Following decades of research, he and his students have developed and are evaluating programs designed to improve family functioning, the quality of inter-parental and parent-child relationships, and children’s well-being when exposed to adversities such as marital conflict and political violence. Supported by nearly $40 million in grant funding during his career, his program of research has, as of this writing, resulted in 366 publications, including 13 books, 279 journal articles, and 58 chapters in scholarly volumes that have been cited more than 50,000 times.  

The awards ceremony took place at the Spring Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m. in McKenna Hall, where Cummings offered brief remarks regarding his research. A reception followed. 

“Notre Dame is a positive, supportive environment and is dedicated to excellence. I appreciate that. The emphasis is on quality of work, being innovative, and making a difference. I think that’s been a big factor in my success here.”

— Mark Cummings