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August 2018: Alexandra Fortier

Alexandra Fortier is a fourth-year Optometry student at the University of Montreal’s School of Optometry. Born and raised in Quebec City, Alex moved to Montreal from her hometown after completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. From the beginning of her doctorate, Alexandra’s goal has always been to evolve and grow in the optometry community. With that goal in mind, she made it her mission to become involved in our community throughout the course of her OD degree, so much so that she has devoted countless hours to the well-being of the student body and her peers. This dedication is ever present in her academic career, in her involvement with humanitarian missions as well as her commitment to student life.

Alexandra’s implication at UM is highlighted by her constant collaboration with students, clinicians, faculty, and sponsoring companies to organize activities relating to academics, fundraising and financing student events. Beginning the first week of our first year of optometry school, Alex presented her candidacy for the secretary position of our class council. This position accentuated her leadership duties, as she not only maintained and fostered relationships with companies, but also became our class’s go-to problem-solver. Along with these responsibilities, Alex became the AOSA Trustee-Elect in second year and Trustee in third year. Through this newly appointed position, she organized many activities promoting student membership to the AOSA, supported and mentored the newly-elected trustees, and contributed articles to Foresight Magazine in order to increase the visibility of our Canadian, and, more specifically, French-Canadian speaking optometry school. Also, Alexandra is the Vice-President of our American Academy of Optometry (AAO) student chapter. Here, she works on constantly echoing the message that evidence-based research is essential to becoming a proficient optometrist by encouraging students to become more involved by completing internships as well as attend the annual AAO meeting.

In addition to all her current positions, Alexandra has most recently been elected as President of the University of Montreal School of Optometry’s Student Association by the student body. Even though her tenure as President is only beginning, Alexandra has jumped head-first into promoting new ideas and always being the voice of our student body. For example, Alexandra has become increasingly aware of the struggles that students face with mental health, especially in a program as demanding and time-consuming as ours. With the goal of improving students’ mental health, Alex has inaugurated a “Well Being” club, which organizes relax-themed events for students to get their minds off of their studies.

Saying that Alexandra is involved in student life here at UM is an understatement; every one of her peers can attest to the fact that Alex’s implication in our community is unparalleled. It is clear that her commitment of being the leader of our student body is a quality that is a part of her DNA, and we all could not be more proud to present Alexandra as our Student of the Month.


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