Naugatuck Valley Community College President and Dominican Republic native Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D will be honored as one of four iconic contributors to the fabric of Connecticut and America when she is inducted to the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF) at its September 27 gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
“I am honored to be recognized for my work which represents the generous contributions immigrants continue to make to this welcoming nation. I am also happy to be in the company of a very talented and diverse cohort of 2018 honorees. June celebrates Immigrant History Month, a recognition among many, to underscore that this nation was built by immigrants. We prosper because of the contributions made by recent immigrants and by descendants of immigrants. The wealth of talent gets renewed by each generation, and continues to move this nation forward. I am so very fortunate to live in a country that welcomed, educated, and nurtured the lives of so many who, like me, left behind a beloved land to make a home in this land of opportunity for all,” said De Filippis.
Since 2008, President De Filippis has served as President of Naugatuck Valley Community College. Under her guidance, student retention has steadily risen, enrollment has increased, graduation awards have grown, and a thriving expanded campus in Danbury was developed. Last year, NVCC was named one of the top 25 community colleges nationwide in advancing opportunities for low-income students. 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, a B.A. in Spanish and English literatures from Queens College, CUNY, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the University of Santo Domingo (UASD) in recognition of her contribution to Dominican, Caribbean, and Dominican Diaspora literature. President De Filippis serves on the Connecticut Technical High School System Board, the Prospect Waterbury Local 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. President De Filippis recently completed nine-year terms of service on the Board of Directors for the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Greater Waterbury.
A program of the Polish American Foundation of CT, the IHHF celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of Connecticut by honoring individuals and institutions who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic, and civic development of the state; preserves this heritage by publishing the biographies of the inductees and the history of their ethnic communities; and educates the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of the American nation, and the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities to the country and state.