Dr. Daniel Cillis: Strategizing In The Classroom


Every morning, Dr. Daniel Cillis wakes up ready to fight as it was his last battle. Using his military background, he plans carefully every strategy that he is going to use with his students and get them ready for their everyday battle. He knows that any detail matters on a battlefield, he might not be in one at present time but that is how he prepares his students in each classroom. He teaches them discipline, courage but most important to developed their hidden talents.

Mercy College has added Dr. Daniel Cillis as Professor and Program Head of the MS in Organizational Leadership and MS in Human Resources Management programs. Previously, he was an adjunct professor for the programs.

Cillis is proud to work at Mercy College and loves the city environment as his office is in the Manhattan extension.

He loves to work with Mercy students who are exited, engaged and love to learn, so in the future these students might be able to be leaders too and become professors, either at Mercy College or any other faculty.

As program head of the MS organizational leadership and MS in Human Resources Management program, his job is to prepare students with business experiences and other management skills to prepare them to become leaders in any company they’ll join in the future. Human Resources area helps them to find and match jobs once they graduate, with all the experience they obtained from the programs they are more than ready to start their own journey.

Cillis is a native from New Mexico, which he enjoys visiting twice a year. He served in the U.S. Army, in the Strategic Communications Command. Thanks to these experiences he can apply some of those military leadership strategies in his classroom.

Also, he loves to write, he has published four books, most of them are fiction as Water Damage, a tale of dawning terror in America, which is a sequel of three books in total. His first non-fiction book was published last year, World War I New Mexico.

“It talks about America’s initial involvement in the Great War occurred in the American West—not in France. Certain events on the U.S. southern border were fueled by Germany. This book tells the story of the New Mexico soldiers who went ‘over there’ and seeks to contribute to their remembrance. It is a story worth telling,” stated his website.

In his free time, Cillis likes to create Civil War dioramas for libraries and museum. He shared one of his favorite quotations by William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.  “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

As his own business experiences, besides being part of the U.S. Army, Strategic Communication command, NATO and SEATO, he used to be the market researcher analyst in the International Paper Co. and Westvaco and the corporate credit analyst in the JP Morgan company.

Cillis has a well-developed background in a lot of areas. He has been an Associate Dean at Molloy College, and held faculty positions at Pace University, the University of New Mexico, Cornell University and Holy Family University. Students couldn’t be in better hands, also remarking he has a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from NYU,  and MBA from St. John’s University and BBA from Baruch College.

What Cillis wishes for students is to form successful students and future professionals. He encourages these students to return to Mercy College to talk to future students about the experiences they had at Mercy and how helpful were the programs to obtain the necessary experiences.  Cillis is sure that these students can become excellent and possible Mercy teachers in the future.

He is sure that every student in his program is well capacitated to become and achieve anything they want. Just as his favorite quotation he shared, “Don’t be afraid to become great.”