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Dorothy Jean Tillman Earns Doctorate Degree From Arizona State University At Age 17

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“I am now Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman, DBH, since successfully defending my dissertation last week,” Tillman wrote in an Instagram post.

She continued, “I’m looking forward to participating in commencement activities at ASU in Phoenix next May. 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, @jimalita!”

According to Fox 32 in Chicago, IL, Tillman’s research for her dissertation was on how mental health programs included at schools ultimately result in positive effects.

“[Having a mental health issue] doesn’t make you crazy,” she said, according to the outlet. “It doesn’t make you any of these negative things; it just makes you human.”

As the Chicago teen has crossed off yet another achievement, she also shared that she hasn’t officially decided what’s next. However, she envisions continuing to be a part of mental health work and wants to travel.

Thinking ahead to 2024, Tillman plans to keep moving forward with a STEAM camp she started a few years ago too.

“A lot of people are used to STEM camps, which is just science, technology, engineering and math,” Tillman explained to the outlet. “But I felt like that right brain/left brain dynamic was never explored in a lot of programs I had been put in, so I wanted to create my own program.”

As previously shared by AFROTECH, at age 14, Tillman earned a master’s degree in sustainable science and environmental planning. What’s more, she started on her college path after finishing high school at age 9.

“I was finishing up high school courses and starting with my associates, and I got that [degree] when I was about to turn 11,” she told Rolling Out at the time. “Moving on from there, since a lot of the associate course hours count for your bachelor’s, I had a good head start when I started my bachelor’s. By the time I was 12, I had my bachelor’s in humanities.”





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