About Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis
Dr. Cocco De Filippis returned to Hostos Community College in August 2020 after serving as President of Naugatuck Valley Community College from July 2008 to August 2012. The hallmark of her presidency was a shared vision of community, student-centeredness, collaboration, and civic engagement. Under her guidance student retention rose steadily as did the number of associate degrees and certificates awarded. She oversaw the expansion of the Waterbury campus, the renovation of Founders Hall and the campus improvement project, and the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. To meet the needs of a growing immigrant population, NVCC created a campus in downtown Danbury, accredited by the New England Commission for Higher Education, to offer degree and certificate programs. During her tenure the college hosted four Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence in support of the creation of an International Center for the Arts at NVCC.
Under her leadership as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Hostos Community College, the division implemented the Hostos Academic Learning Center, which expanded non-credit offerings and – via a Title V grant – fomented faculty and student development opportunities and assisted in enhancement of the Office of Institutional Research. Four engineering programs, transferable and designed in partnership with The City College Grove School of Engineering, raised the number of degree offerings from 14 to 27. There was also a significant growth of intellectual opportunities outside of the classroom for students, faculty, staff, and community members by means of coffee and conversations with the Provost, college-wide meetings, conferences, poetry readings, and Veladas Hostosianas.
Now, upon her return to the College in August 2020 and through a pandemic year with ‘manos a la obra/all hands-on-deck’ as her motto, Dr. Cocco De Filippis continued to provide a high-quality education delivered with hope, care and understanding to the students. Recently, author and philanthropist Ms. MacKenzie Scott announced a $15 million gift to Hostos, the largest donation the school has ever received. This was included in a large nationwide endowment for schools educating underserved students.
During her year as the college’s interim president, Dr. Cocco De Filippis completed and supplemented the pandemic transition to distance learning and virtual gatherings. Virtual gatherings included open forums and town halls to support Black students and Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) students. Also included were a new Hostos Community College Community Advisory Council to connect business, government, and cultural leaders with students; “Veladas Hostosianas | Hostos Culture Talks,” a monthly meeting space for college-wide discussions on topics of human interest and El Semanario Hostosiano/The Hostos Weekly, which focuses on uniting the college’s multiple voices. As of April 2022, President Cocco De Filippis hosted a successful Middle States Evaluation Visit, which garnered thoughtful and collegial feedback from peer evaluators.
Dr. Cocco De Filippis holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature, an M. Phil in Spanish literature from the Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York, an M.A. in Spanish literature and a B.A. summa cum laude in Spanish and English literatures from Queens College, CUNY. A published author and literary critic, she is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the field of Dominican women studies and Dominican authors in the U.S. In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities by the University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the oldest university in the Americas, in recognition of her contributions to Dominican, Caribbean and Dominican Diaspora literatures. In May 2017, President Cocco De Filippis was honored by Hostos Community College as Educator of the Year at their annual Scholarship Benefit. She was inducted as a member of Connecticut’s Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame in September 2018 and was honored by Malta House of Care as one of their 2019 Wonder Women.
Dr. Cocco De Filippis has served on the board of multiple educational and community organizations, as well as Commissioner for the New England Commission for Higher Education.