Dr. De Filippis has been the President of Naugatuck Valley Community College since 2008. The hallmark of her presidency is a shared vision of community, student-centeredness, collaboration and civic engagement. Under her guidance, student retention has steadily risen, enrollment has increased from 6,128 students (fall 2008) to 6,662 students (fall 2016), and graduation awards have grown from 521 (2007-08) to 1,371 (2015-16) total awards. The College has also observed the successful development of a growing campus in Danbury; extended library and tutoring hours to evenings and weekends; implemented college-wide mentoring, advising and job-readiness programs; and established a Bridge to College office for high school students. In September of 2016, NVCC was named as one of the top 25 community colleges nationwide in advancing opportunities for low-income students.
President De Filippis has also worked with local and elected leadership to bring evening bus service to Waterbury, U-Passes for students at the Waterbury and Danbury campuses, secure funding for NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, receive three Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence guests and bring the federal GEAR UP program to Waterbury. In addition, she helped bring to the College $44 million dollars in state bond funding for construction of the College’s new Center for Health Sciences, $6.5 million dollars for campus-wide improvement projects, and $2 million dollars for technology and laboratories for the expansion of the Danbury Campus.
Under President De Filippis’ guidance, NVCC is advancing early college opportunities for high school students in its twenty-two town service region. Partnering with NewOak Capital LLC, Pitney Bowes and the Danbury Public School System NVCC is in its second year of the Danbury Early College Opportunities (DECO) program which affords Danbury High School students an opportunity to earn an Associate Degree simultaneously with their high school diploma. The College was also selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Dual Enrollment Experiment, allowing eligible high school students to access Pell Grant funding to pay for college courses.
Prior to coming to NVCC, Dr. De Filippis served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish language and a M. Phil. in Spanish literature from the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY, an M.A. in Spanish literature and a B.A. in Spanish and English literatures from Queens College, CUNY. A published author and literary critic, her scholarly work is recognized internationally as pioneering the field of Dominican women studies and Dominican authors in the U.S.
Dr. De Filipps has authored or edited twenty books, to include but not limited to: Hija de Camila/Camila’s Line (Santo Domingo: Editora Nacional, Feria del Libro Dominicano, 2007); Documents of Dissidence, Selected Writings by Dominican Women (New York: Foundational Series, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, 2000); Tertuliando/Hanging Out, Dominicanas & Friends (Santo Domingo: Publicación Permanente de la Feria del Libro Dominicano [Dominican Edition], 1997, and New York: CUNY Caribbean Exchange Program, Hunter College, CUNY, 1997); Sin otro profeta que su canto, antología de poesía escrita por dominicanas (Santo Domingo: Biblioteca Taller, 1988). Co-edited: Stories from Washington Heights and Other Corners of the World. (New York: Latin American Writers Institute, 1994); Co-author, Telling To Live, Testimonios by Latina Researchers (Duke University Press, 2001). She is the author of over thirty articles published in academic journals and translator of more than fifty poems by Dominican authors included in multiple anthologies.
Among her recognitions: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Academe, Adolfo Carrión, Bronx Borough President, New York (2008); Second Dominican Book Fair in New York dedicated to Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis (2007); Woman of the Year Award, Association of Dominican-American Supervisors (2006); Order of Merit, Duarte, Sanchez and Mella in the Rank of Commander, presented by Dr. Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic (2005); Hija Distinguida of Santo Domingo/Distinguished Daughter Award, presented by the Mayor of Santo Domingo (2005); Educator of the Year Award, Dominican Times Magazine (2004), Order of Merit Cristóbal Colón, in the Rank of Commander, presented by Hipólito Mejía, President of the Dominican Republic (2003); The Myers Outstanding Book Award, presented by the Gustavus Meyer Center for the Study of Bigotry in North America, to authors of Telling To Live, Simmons College (2002); Proclamation for Outstanding Contribution to the Latino Community and Academe, Virginia W. Fields, President, Borough of Manhattan, New York (2000); Influential Latina Award, El Diario/La Prensa (1998); Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Community and Academe, Ruth Messinger, President, Borough of Manhattan, New York (1996); Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Academe, Claire Shulman, President, Borough of Queens, New York (1994).
As President of NVCC, she was invited to speak at the Waterbury mayoral inauguration in 2012, named Dominican Mayor of the Day in 2013 and was selected to give the keynote address, From Puerto Rico to the World, the Poetry of Julia de Burgos, at the International Conference on the Commemoration of the Centennial of the Birth of Julia de Burgos in Santo Domingo in February 2014. She received the Stellar Alumna Award at the Dominican Intellectual Legacy Gala in December 2014 sponsored by the City University of New York Dominican Studies Institute and in September of 2015, Dr. De Filippis was honored for her valuable contributions to the Dominican letters at the ninth annual Dominican Book Fair in New York City. On October 6, 2016 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities by the University of Santo Domingo, the oldest university in the Americas in recognition of her contributions to Dominican, Caribbean and Dominican Diaspora literature.
President De Filippis serves on the Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Governance Committee for the United Way of Greater Waterbury, the Board of Directors for the Waterbury Regional Chamber, the Connecticut Technical High School System Board, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty’s STEM Education Advisory Board, the advisory board of the Dominican Studies Institute at the City College, CUNY and on the Board of the Dominican Studies Association. She is a regular panelist at the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Wellesley Conference where she provides leadership and career advice to approximately sixty women each spring.