Daisy Cocco De Filippis

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Daisy Cocco Defilippis
Born (1949-02-25) February 25, 1949 (age 68)
Dominican Republic
Residence Waterbury, Connecticut
Nationality American
Other names Daisy C. Defilippis
Alma mater Queens College
CUNY Graduate Center
Occupation Community college president

Daisy Cocco De Filippis (born February 25, 1949 in the Dominican Republic) is the current president of Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury, Connecticut. She is the author of works of fiction and non-fiction dealing with Dominican and Dominican-American women.

Early life and education[edit]

Cocco was born in Santo Domingo on February 25, 1949. Her parents moved to the United States when she was 13 years old. She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish language and a M. Phil. in Spanish literature from the The Graduate Center, CUNY,[when?] an M.A. in Spanish literature[when?] and a B.A. in Spanish and English literatures summa cum laude from Queens College, City University of New York.[when?]


Cocco became the president of Naugatuck Valley Community College (Waterbury, Connecticut) in 2008.[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, NVCC became the first community college in Connecticut to confer 1,000+ graduation awards.

The community 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.

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, Cocco served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Hostos Community College. Cocco began her career at York College, City University of New York, as an adjunct lecturer in 1978, advancing to become a professor of Spanish and ultimately being appointed associate dean for academic affairs.

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.[citation needed]

Honors and awards[edit]

As president of NVCC, 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 Waterbury's 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, C. Virginia 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)[citation needed]


  • 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


External links[edit]