Melissa Forsyth

MA (Queen's) and PhD Candidate, ABD (UVic)
Melissa Forsyth
Surrey Office: Main 3850B
Limited Term: Spring 2024

Hi, I am so excited to be part of Kwantlen’s faculty team here in Sociology. I have been dedicated to sociological study since 2013 when I returned to do my MA in Sociology at Queen’s University after being out of school for twenty years! I earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology in 1993 from Queens University and it had been my dream while raising my children, to go back one day to Graduate School. I completed my MA in 2016, and when I graduated it was the best day of my life, as I had accomplished something I never thought would be possible for me. When I work with students, I love to help them build confidence in their own dreams, as I know from personal experience that dreams can come true with perseverance and dedication.

I am a mother of four amazing kids ages 28 down to 12. We live in Saanichton on Vancouver Island and have a dog named Lily and three cats, Arwen, Olive, and Diablo. I love going out in nature walking my dog and exploring this wonderful place. I have lived here since 2017 when I began my PhD studies at UVIC. Currently, I am completing my dissertation. So, it seems I live, eat and breathe sociology over the past 9 years! It’s a wonderful privilege to have an education and I wish to impart my knowledge to students to build their confidence in learning and critical thinking. Most of all I wish to convey my passion for learning and mentoring new aspiring students in developing astute, sociological thinking, toward advancing new social theories and creating authentic sociology, linking sociology to their everyday lives, and finding ways to ‘do’ sociology practically.    

My research area has been broad as I studied Midwifery from 2014-2016 at The University of British Columbia where I focused on social determinants of health, reproductive rights, Indigenous Midwifery, and marginalized populations. Now my research has evolved from the sociology of health to more critical, feminist theory, and has expanded to explore social movements surrounding climate change, birth, and reproduction. I explore social reproduction and the care economy, calling for the societal valuation of unpaid labor. I apply a feminist, intersectional lens to critical, sociological questions, so solutions to vast inequities, social vulnerabilities, planetary devastation, and colonization can emerge. My main questions are, how can society flourish and thrive, and how can society move forward in times of chaos? I believe sociology has keys for societal transformation that are underutilized so my goal in teaching is to inspire students to apply sociology, and to allow critical thinking for some of the greatest social problems the world has been facing now since World War II. I love teaching and working with students. I look forward to getting to know everyone here at Kwantlen!

Areas of Interest

Qualitative Research Methods, Intersectional Analysis, Maternity Care Access, Equity, Reproductive Rights, Indigenous Resurgence, Knowledge translation, Allyship, De-colonization, Global Maternal Health, Midwifery, Social Determinants of Health, Inequality, Poverty, Family, Gender, Classical and Contemporary Theory, Social Movements, Environment, and Social Reproduction.



  • University of Victoria, Presidents Fellowship in Research Enriched Teaching, 2022/23
  • University of Victoria, President’s Research Scholarship 2018, 2020-2021
  • CGS-SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship 2018-2021
  • University of Victoria Doctoral Fellowship 2017-2019
  • University of Victoria Graduate Entrance Award 2017
  • University of Victoria Graduate Award 2017 for 2020
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship 2014
  • Queens Graduate Award 2013

Scholarly Work

  • Guest Lecture, Medicalization of Birth, Soci 383, Feminisms in Theory and Practice, 2020, 2022 Creative Dance performance highlighting awareness for women’s mental health and advocacy for reproductive rights, with Passion and Performance Spring Showcase, McPherson Theatre, Victoria BC, June 2019
  • Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, Graduate Student Representative, 2018-19
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Joseph Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship Recipient, 2018-2021, University of Victoria, Ancient Midwifery Knowledge; Returning Birth Home to Indigenous Communities
  • “Intersectionality; Addressing Diverse Experiences of Marginalized Elders”; presented at Graduate Symposium on Aging, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, 2017
  • Conference participant, by invitation as Student Midwife, Canadian Association of Midwives Annual Conference, Victoria BC, Oct 2016
  • Workshop Participant Discussant, by invitation as Student Midwife, Normalizing Birth: Is the way we do birth bankrupting future generations? Visiting Scholar Series, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, 2015
  • Critical Book Review (Non-refereed) for MIDW102, “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground” Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth “Edited by D. Memee Lavell-Harvard and Jeanette Corbiere Lavell. Toronto: 2006, Demeter Press, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, 2015
  • Presentation for Teaching Purposes, Interviewing and Counseling Skills, for MIDW 101, University of British Colombia, Vancouver BC, 2014
  • Poster Presentation, Genogram mapping for Sociological analysis; Beyond Psychology and Individuation, for MIDW 101, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, 2014
  • “Federal Maternal Evacuation for First Nations Women; Defacto Discrimination to Self Determination”, Policy Analysis, Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, 2013
  • Workshop Series Participant, by invitation, Feminist Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, 2013-2014
  • "Maternal Health within Indigenous and Aboriginal Remote Communities; A Call for Action Worldwide", presented at "Engage; Bridging the Divide in the Social World", University of Guelph, 2014
  • "Maternal Health in Northern Reserves from State Control to Self-Determination in Birth”; presented at Epistemology to Ethics; Graduate Research Symposium, Queen's University, 2014
  • Campus Conference Participant/Discussant, by invitation, "Arctic/Northern Women: Situating law and Justice in Development and Equality," Feminist Legal Studies Queen's, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Gender Studies, and Faculty of Law, Queen's University, 2014