Office of the President

Office of the President

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


Welcome to the Spring 2022 semester at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College.

Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis, PresidentA new year is underway. The word “January” is derived from Janus, the Roman god who, possessing two faces, looked backward to the past and forward to the future. As we move into the new semester, we too have the opportunity to examine where we have been...and where we are going.

Individually and collectively we have gone through a great deal in the last twenty months. We have experienced drastic changes and faced unexpected challenges, and these circumstances continue to affect us on every imaginable level, from how (and where) we give and receive instruction to the lamentable loss of family members and loved ones so many in the Hostos community have suffered.

There is sadness, yes, but also much reason for hope – the quality that unites us: hope for a better life and a better world through education. Students, faculty, and staff alike have demonstrated resilience, courage, and perseverance in dealing with the pandemic, and I am heartened by their example. The desire for a better life through education is so strong that nothing – not even a global pandemic – can thwart their efforts.

Hostos has provided a path to a brighter future for over five decades and serves as a source of life-transforming education. You are part of a long and cherished community of scholars who come to Hostos to change their lives...and the lives of others.

Hostos Community College takes pride in its history and in its namesake: Don Eugenio María de Hostos, the Puerto Rican philosopher, educator, man of letters and fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico. The College arose from the vision and activism of many Puerto Rican, Latino, and other supporters who believed the South Bronx deserved its own community college. We take pride in the quality of teaching and learning at the College, and in our work with community agencies to promote educational, labor, economic and community development initiatives. To that end, we offer programs designed to promote engagement both on campus and in our communities.

The Hostos catalogue presents a rich offering of career and academic programs, including allied health, arts, digital design and animation, education, engineering, liberal arts and sciences, theater arts, and many other disciplines. Our talented and highly accomplished faculty, staff and administrators support the dreams and goals for those who are just beginning their college careers as well as those who are continuing their studies. We are here to help you dream big – and to realize those dreams.

The poet Marge Piercy, in “To Be of Use,” sings the praises of those who jump wholeheartedly into what they do:

The people I love the best
jump into work headfirst
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

For some students, Spring 2022 marks the start of their time at Hostos. For others, it’s the final semester before graduation. Wherever you are in your own educational journey, it is a pleasure to offer these words of welcome and encouragement.

May the semester – and the new year – find your efforts rewarded and your dreams fulfilled.

Mil gracias y bendiciones,

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.
President