Daisy Cocco De Filippis

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Cocco and the second or maternal family name is De Filippis.
Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis, President of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Connecticut

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. is the current president of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Connecticut. She is the author of several influential works of fiction and non-fiction dealing with Dominican and Dominican-American women.


Since assuming the presidency at Naugatuck Valley Community College (Waterbury, Connecticut) in 2008, Dr. Cocco has instilled a shared vision of community, student-centeredness, collaboration and civic-engagement.[1]

Under her guidance, student retention has steadily risen, enrollment has increased from 6,128 students (fall 2008) to 7,293 students (fall 2013), and graduation awards have grown from 521 (2007–08) to 1,231 (2012–13) total awards.

In 2012, Naugatuck Valley Community College became the first community college in Connecticut to confer 1,000+ graduation awards.

The College has also observed the successful development of a growing center in Danbury, Connecticut; expanded course time blocks; extended library and tutoring hours to evenings and weekends; 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. Cocco has also worked with local and elected leadership to bring evening bus service to Waterbury, secure funding for an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, receive two Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence guests and bring the federal GEAR UP program to Waterbury.

Prior to coming to NVCC, Dr. Cocco 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. Cocco 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.

Dr. Cocco 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 was born in Santo Domingo on February 25, 1949. Her parents moved to the United States when she was 13 years old. She served for many years as professor of Spanish and Latin-American Literature at The City University of New York (York College).[2] She is currently president of Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Special Recognitions[edit]

As president of NVCC, Dr. Cocco 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 and the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. She was also invited to speak at the Waterbury mayoral inauguration in 2012 and named Dominican Mayor of the Day in 2013.


  • 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)


  • 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
  • Stories from Washington Heights and Other Corners of the World Co-editor. New York: Latin American Writers Institute, 1994
  • Telling To Live, Testimonios by Latina Researchers Co-author. Duke University Press, 2001


Ph.D. in Spanish language, Graduate School and University Center, The City University of New York ; M.A. in Spanish literature, Queens College, The City University of New York B.A. in Spanish and English literatures, Queens College, The City University of New York


External links[edit]

  • Detailed biography and bibliography (in Spanish)[1]