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Chantale Fortin

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

About me

I was born/grew up in: Alma, Lac St-Jean, Quebec

I now live in: Alma, Lac St-Jean, Quebec

I completed my training/education at:  I have a bachelor's degree in microbiology from Laval University., a master's degree in the Faculty of Medicine from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Laval University and a PhD from the Armand Frappier Institute. I also have a certificate in High School Teaching.

What I do at work

I came into teaching science by accident. I was planning to go into research. My goals was to obtain a teaching position in a university and direct a research laboratory. As for what I do as a high school science teacher, I think most students would be aware from seeing what their teachers do. I try to develop the most complete experimental approach possible. I like to use a problem-solving approach with my students. My goal is to help develop critical minds in my students. To do this, I also use a structured and valid media research approach which is an essential skill in the 21st century.

My career path is

I developed a passion for research when I participated in two research projects during my third and last year of my microbiology bachelor's degree at Laval University. I continued the following year doing a master's program at the Faculty of Medicine of in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. After 12 months of laboratory work and 15 course credits, I started writing my thesis. Writing a thesis does not require you to stay at the university. As a result, I went to join my spouse in the Chibougamau-Chapais region of Quebec.

I was asked if I was interested in teaching high school mathematics at the small Polyvalente Le Filon in Chapais. I accepted and taught grades 8 through 10 math. I continued to work on my thesis while teaching.

After I submitted my thesis, I applied for a doctoral grant and a research laboratory that was willing to let me join. I taught for 2 years and then went to the Armand Frappier Institute in Laval. My plan was to continue to work towards a PhD at Montreal University.

After a year of doctoral studies, several factors led me to rethink my career choice. I found that I missed contact with students. The two years I spend teaching had changed my career focus. I found my desire to pass on knowledge was stronger than my passion for research. As a result, I enrolled in a program where I could obtain an official diploma required for high school teaching.

I am motivated by

Despite my passion for research, I made the choice to leave research work because I needed more human contact.

How I affect people’s lives

I hope I can influence young people to love science. Since they are familiar with the teaching profession, I will let them judge for themselves the influence that I have on them.

Outside of work I

I love being active in nature (e.g., skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, swimming...) I love being outside and spend the most time outside during July and August. My work takes up a lot of my time in the evenings and on weekends.

My advice to others

There are so many possibilities that no matter what choices you make. Keep an open mind! Our goals can evolve and it is important to respect your feelings at the time. Even if you change career pathways, nothing you do will be a waste of time.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Music
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought People Together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Was motivated by success
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • I was part of a 4H movement (nature) for several years until I became the assistant club leader.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Yetong Dong headshot wearing lab coat

    Yetong Dong

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student

    I am studying to become a scientific researcher.
  • Andrea Goldson-Barnaby headshot

    Andrea Goldson-Barnaby

    Head of the Food division

    I teach and do research on the topics of Food Chemistry and Food Processing.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur photographing hog in pen.

    Jo-Anne McArthur (she/her)

    Photojournalist, Founder

    I operate a non-profit media organization that shows the lives of animals in pictures.
  • Adrienne Ethier headshot

    Adrienne Ethier

    Environmental Risk Assessment Specialist

    I am responsible for evaluating potential exposure risks to people and the environment near nuclear facilities and mines.
  • Alyssa Smith headshot

    Alyssa Smith

    PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science

    I am researching how people’s attention is affected by factors in everyday life such as taking medications.
  • Karen Fleming at work, wearing mask and virtual reality goggles.

    Karen Fleming (she/her)

    Simulation Educator

    I help create education and training experiences that contribute to safer environments for patients.
  • Dr. Marcia Anderson headshot

    Marcia Anderson (she/her)

    Physician and Vice-Dean Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism

    I am a medical doctor and I work to help create culturally safe healthcare that is free of racism.
  • Luke Humphries working with biological sample in his lab.

    Luke Humphries

    Director, Process Development

    I lead teams of scientists to discover and develop the best ways of making drug molecules for clinical trials.
  • Sydney Robinson headshot taken outside with green leaves in background

    Sydney Robinson


    I am an entrepreneur who used my engineering background to design a device that helps amputees do daily tasks in a more painless manner.
  • Allison Guitor in her lab at McMaster University.

    Allison Guitor

    PhD student (antibiotic resistance)

    I study antibiotic resistance, which is what makes bacteria able to live in the presence of antibiotics.
  • Dr. Harpreet Kochhar at standup computer station in his office.

    Dr. Harpreet Kochhar


    I am the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
  • Isabel Hilgendag in the fileld collecting samples in the Arctic

    Isabel Hilgendag

    MSc Student (Biology)

    I look for heavy metals, such as mercury, in Arctic marine animals, to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Manpreet Kaur in her lab

    Manpreet Kaur (She/Her)

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    I work on research projects to discover drugs to treat infectious diseases.
  • Ryan Mitchell headshot

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Daryl Lawes

    Daryl Lawes

    Environment Manager

    I am responsible for all aspects of environmental protection, performance, and regulatory compliance for Seaspan Shipyards.
  • Portrait de Corie Houldsworth

    Corie Houldsworth


    I perform inspections of worksites where radiation is used, stored or transported.
  • Terra MacDonald at aquaculture site holding farmed salmon.

    Terra MacDonald (she/her)

    Veterinarian and Fish Health Manager

    As the veterinarian for Mowi Canada West, I care for the salmon at all life stages, from egg to harvest.
  • Isha Berry Headshot

    Isha Berry


    I look for patterns in disease outbreaks and health outcomes in populations across the world.
  • Clair Poulin hiking near wetland area

    Claire Poulin

    Zebrafish Researcher/Pre-Med Student

    I am researching how Zebrafish respond to lower oxygen levels in their environment.
  • Jasmin Chahal headshot

    Jasmin Chahal

    Assistant Professor

    I teach in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University.