For nearly four decades, educator, author, scholar and Dominican Republic native Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis has been a leader in the advancement of educational opportunities and a pioneer in the field of Dominican women studies. President of Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury and Danbury since 2008, De Filippis has built a legacy of shared community vision, student-centeredness, collaboration and civic engagement, and under her guidance student retention has risen, enrollment has increased and graduation awards have more than doubled. In September 2016, NVCC was named one of the Top 25 community colleges nationwide in advancing opportunities for low-income students. Dr. De Filippis 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 from Queens College, CUNY. In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities by the University of Santo Domingo, the oldest university in the Americas, in recognition of her contributions to Dominican, Caribbean and Dominican Diaspora literature.