Dorothy Jean Tillman II: 17-Year-Old CEO Walks The Stage At ASU’s Commencement As Doctor Of Behavioral Health Management

by Gee NY
Dorothy Jean Tillman II participates in Arizona State University's commencement, May 6, 2024, in Tempe, Ariz. Tillman Family via AP

Dorothy Jean Tillman II, a 17-year-old prodigy from Chicago, has achieved a remarkable feat by earning a doctorate at such a young age.

Her extraordinary journey culminated with walking the stage at Arizona State University’s commencement on May 6, where she was awarded a Doctorate in Behavioral Health Management.

Reflecting on her achievement, Tillman shared her feelings of surrealism and inspiration during commencement week, describing the honor of addressing a live audience of 20,000 people and millions online as truly humbling.

Tillman’s academic journey began at the age of 10 when she enrolled in college courses at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.

Despite her youth, she excelled academically, earning her associate’s degree by the age of 14.

Subsequently, she completed her bachelor’s degree through an online program at Excelsior University in 2018 and earned her master’s degree at the age of 14.

In 2021, Tillman was accepted into ASU’s Doctorate of Behavioral Health Management program, where she continued to demonstrate exceptional dedication and intellect.

In December, she successfully defended her dissertation, making her the youngest person to complete a doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health at ASU.

Apart from her academic pursuits, Tillman is the founder and CEO of the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute, a venture aimed at nurturing future leaders.

Leslie Manson, the associate professor who oversaw Tillman’s dissertation, praised her innovative ideas and unwavering motivation, highlighting her as a true leader.

Tillman attributes her success to her family, particularly her mother and grandmother, who instilled in her the importance of education and continuous learning.

With her academic journey now complete, Tillman looks forward to exploring her passions in public speaking and leadership development.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at such a young age,” Tillman expressed. “The world is my oyster, and I’m excited to see where my journey takes me next.”

Dorothy Jean Tillman II’s remarkable achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring scholars and leaders worldwide.

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