Dr. Charles Fleis
Department of World Languages and Cultures
Dr. Charles Fleis described his relationship with his students as a role in which he “works to continually inspire their pursuit of knowledge and self.”
In his 10 years at Bridgewater College, Fleis, associate professor of world languages, has taught a variety of courses, including classes at all levels of Spanish and French; Bridgewater’s first-year seminar, PDP 150: Critical Thinking in the Liberal Arts; and a senior seminar for honors students. He specializes in French and Hispanic cinema, culture and literature.
In addition, he has served on numerous campus committees, including the committee on tenure and promotion, the council on education, and the executive board of the Philomathes Society, Bridgewater’s scholastic honor society. He is currently chair of the committee on campus diversity. Fleis is the faculty advisor for the BC Allies, a gay-straight alliance for students, faculty and staff that works to create greater awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ issues, and is the co-advisor for the BC men’s wrestling club. He is also the faculty academic liaison for the men’s soccer team. He worked with students and faculty to create the World Languages Club (combining what were previously separate clubs in specific languages) and continues to serve as faculty advisor for that club as well. “Whether I am working directly with a student group or organization, or working on an official campus committee, I am consistently thinking of how my work and decisions will benefit students most and the College as a whole.”
Fleis received an A.A. in modern languages from Northwestern Michigan College, earned his B.A. in public administration and Spanish and his M.A. in Spanish from Western Michigan University, and earned a doctorate in modern languages (D.M.L.) from Middlebury College in 2008. His previous positions include visiting instructor of Spanish at Ferris State University and instructor of Spanish and French at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He was the co-founder and co-director of the Southeast Arkansas Foreign Language Alliance Reaching Educators and Students and has made numerous presentations in his field.
Fleis commented, “I understand learning is a process. I don’t always expect that moment of realization or success to occur within a semester, a year or even during a student’s years at BC. What makes teaching rewarding for me is the opportunity to plant a seed and water it, hopefully inspiring the student to nurture that seed to germination and growth, whenever that may occur.” Fleis is devoted to inclusion and inspiring others in everything he does, whether in the classroom, as part of campus activities or out in the community.
In 2014, the College honored Flies with the Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award, which honors faculty who show “caring concern for students well beyond the role as teacher.”