Woman Makes History After Earning Doctorate at Age 17

Woman Makes History After Earning Doctorate at Age 17

Dorothy Jean Tillman II has made history by starting college at the age of 10 and earning a doctorate by 17. Tillman, affectionately called ‘Dorothy Jeanius’ by her loved ones, began her higher education journey while most children her age were still in middle school. By the age of 17, she had obtained an associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree. A year after earning her master’s, Tillman was accepted into the Doctorate of Behavioral Health Management program at Arizona State University. By 2023, she successfully defended her dissertation, earning her doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health from ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

Tillman attributes her passion for education to her grandmother, who was part of the Civil Rights movement and instilled the importance of learning in her. However, her own intrinsic motivation played a significant role in her academic achievements. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, she completed most of her work online and continued to excel, making history in Chicago.

Dr. Lesley Manson, a clinical associate professor at ASU who supervised Tillman’s dissertation, praised her for leading change and working to reduce healthcare stigma. Manson described Tillman as an “inquisitive” and “innovative” student, highlighting the rarity and uniqueness of her accomplishments. She noted that Tillman’s ideas and motivation are inspiring, embodying the qualities of a true leader.

Despite her academic success, Tillman remains grounded and focused on her future. She admitted that she is still figuring out her specific dreams and goals, but is grateful for the opportunities ahead. Tillman expressed her gratitude, saying, “I’m really just grateful that the world is my oyster, and that I’ve done so much so young and I have time to kind of think that through.”

Congratulations to Dorothy Jean Tillman II on her remarkable achievements. There is no doubt that she has a bright future ahead of her.