Drew Theological School Student Earns Doctoral Fellowship

Tsz Him Lai is the Theological School’s 19th fellow since 2007

May 2022 – Drew Theological School PhD student Tsz Him Lai is among just five national recipients of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students.

The fellowship provides financial support for doctoral students of color through graduate school and into a vocation of teaching and scholarship.

As part of the fellowship award, Lai will also have the opportunity to attend FTE’s 2022 Virtual Forum for Theological Educators. In addition, FTE will provide access to virtual resources and a mentor to help further their professional development, vocational exploration, and networking opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to receive word that Tsz Him Lai is a recipient of the 2022 FTE fellowship,” said Meredith Hoxie Schol, director of doctoral studies at the Theological School. “Year after year, Drew students who receive FTE fellowships astound us with the important contributions they are making to their academic fields of study, but also to their communities and contexts, where their work is transforming lives. And so we look forward with great expectation to the ways this opportunity enhances and amplifies the impact of Tsz Him’s amazing scholarly voice as well.”

“I am grateful for the guidance of the Drew faculty, especially Dr. Traci West and Dr. Kate Ott, in my academic work,” said Lai. “I also give thanks for my fellow Hong Kongers, whose strength and spirit inspire my theological work.”

“It is absolutely thrilling that Tsz Him has been selected to receive one of FTE’s prestigious awards for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students,” said Traci West, James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies and Hai’s advisor and mentor at Drew. “His cutting-edge scholarly research—including his chapter in a recently published volume, Hong Kong Protests and Political Theology—creatively and poignantly expands post-colonial Christian ethics. I feel truly honored to journey with him as he continues to develop it.”

Since 2007, 19 Drew students have received 27 fellowships from FTE, with six earning more than one (see the full list below).


Julian Cook


Lisa Asedillo Pratt


Simeiqi He

Nikki Hoskins

Lisa Asedillo Pratt

Eric Thomas


Elyse Ambrose

Ericka Dunbar

Nikki Hoskins

June Hee Yoon


Nikki Hoskins


Ericka Dunbar

Erica Ramirez

Eric Thomas


Dong Hyeon Jeong


Erica Ramirez


Jennifer Kaalund

Robert Wafula


Tejai Beulah

Shanell Smith

Peter Mena


David Evans


Shanell Smith


Lynne Darden

Shanell Smith

Sakena Young-Scaggs


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