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Former York Professor Appointed to Lead Hostos Community College

Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis, a former York College, CUNY professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs, has been selected by the CUNY Board of Trustees as Hostos Community College’s incoming interim president.

The Dominican Republic-born De Filippis currently serves as president of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. But she is no stranger to Hostos. The CUNY alumna once served as provost of the Bronx-based CUNY outpost.

According to York’s Dr. Donna Chirico, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, this latest appointment in De Filippis’ career is appropriate.

“She was the Provost at York, who hired me,” said Chirico, who is also a psychology professor at York. “At the time, there were nine or ten of us hired, the largest faculty cohort in decades. She is dedicated to diversity and inclusion. When I was hired, the group included Francisco Villegas, David Ajuluchukwu, and Franklin Gutierrez among others. This became an opportunity to increase the number of women faculty and faculty of color. Daisy was and is a fighter for vulnerable students. A staunch advocate!”

Dr. Margaret Ballantyne, a former colleague in the Foreign Languages Department, and tenured professor at York, also shared her goodwill toward De Filippis, who earned her undergraduate degree at Queens College and the master and doctorate degrees at the CUNY Graduate Center.

“The appointment of Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis as interim President of Hostos CC is wonderful news for CUNY students and for Hostos,” said Dr. Ballantyne. “Having worked closely with her over many years at York College, I know that Dr. Cocco De Filippis will bring her energy, creative thinking, and fierce advocacy for students to her work. I congratulate her and those who made this decision. Welcome back to CUNY, Daisy!”

Dr. De Filippis is also excited about this new development in her career.

“I am going back to Hostos because I believe in it and at this time want to work hand in hand with colleagues to support our students in the aftermath of this devastating pandemic,” said De Filippis. “It is my sincere hope to use my experience to contribute in years to come to its continued progress and success on behalf of students and the community.”

The former York Spanish professor also has fond memories of her two decades-plus at York.

“I began teaching at York College in 1978 as an adjunct when we still were occupying rented space,” she recalled. “Yet, the warmth, the sense of belonging, the relationship between faculty and students earned the College its reputation as 'the small College with a big heart.’ York, like Hostos, was founded to respond to the obligation to educate and to meet the needs of underserved students and communities. I follow with pride the progress both Hostos and York continue to make. "

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