17-Year-Old Scientist And CEO Has Earned Doctorate At Arizona State University


Photo Credit: Arizona State University/ Twitter

Dorothy Jean Tillman, a nationally recognized child prodigy and founder from Chicago’s South Side, successfully defended her dissertation to earn a doctorate at the age of 17.

Tillman has obtained a Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) at Arizona State University’s ASU College of Health Solutions and is now Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman.

“I have so many people to thank for supporting me on this journey, but for now, I’ll just say thank you to my No. 1 champion, my mom,” she wrote as part of a celebratory post on Instagram.

In her research, Dr. Tillman “focused on the impact of implementing an outreach and education program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with using campus mental health services among college-aged students,” according to a press release.

Dr. Tillman plans to raise awareness of mental and behavioral health services within educational institutions and community organizations using her environmental and sustainable science expertise. She is also the founder and CEO of the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute, which launched Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Labs in Chicago and South Africa in 2020.

Through her work, she aims to leverage her accomplishments and passion for STEAM-related (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) fields to create opportunities for underrepresented groups nationally and internationally.

Dr. Tillman’s remarkable higher education journey began when she started college at the age of ten. By 14, she earned a master of science degree from Unity College in Unity, Maine, “becoming the country’s youngest environmental and sustainable scientist.”

Her official commencement ceremony will take place in Phoenix in early May of next year.


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