Since assuming the presidency at Naugatuck Valley Community College in 2008, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., has instilled 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 7,427 students (fall 2012), and graduation awards have grown from 521 (2007-08) to 1,260 (2014-15) total awards. The College has also observed the successful development of a growing campus in Danbury, with the new location scheduled to open in January 2016; expanded course time blocks; extended library and tutoring hours; consolidated and streamlined student services; implemented college-wide mentoring, advising and job-readiness programs; and established a Bridge to College office, which administers $12 million in grants aimed at preparing students to enter and succeed in college. Dr. De Filippis has also worked with local and elected leadership to bring evening bus service to Waterbury, secure funding for an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, receive a Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence 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 Allied Health and $6.5 million dollars for campus-wide improvement projects.
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). Dr. De Filippis began her career at York College, also part of the CUNY system, as an adjunct lecturer in 1978, advancing to become a professor of Spanish and ultimately being appointed associate dean for academic affairs. 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 summa cum laude 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.
She 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, Dr. De Filippis has been honored by the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, The Connecticut Immigrant Coalition, the Waterbury NAACP, the Dominican Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Dominican American Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of Dominican Week in the United States, 2012, and made Honorary Mayor of the City of Waterbury on the occasion of Dominican Week in 2013. Most recently, in December of 2014, President De Filippis was the recipient of the Stellar Alumna Award at the Dominican Intellectual Legacy Gala sponsored by the City University of New York Dominican Studies Institute.