That’s Dr. Tillman to You! Black Chicago Girl Earns Ph. D at 17

Image for article titled That's Dr. Tillman to You! Black Chicago Girl Earns Ph. D at 17

Screenshot: YouTube

A Chicago teen now has an impressive title to add to her name – Doctor. Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman II just earned her doctoral degree from Arizona State University (ASU) at age 17.

Tillman’s impressive academic journey began when she entered the College of Lake County as a psychology major at age 10. Soon after, she followed up with her Master of Science from Unity College. When she was 15, Tillman started the Doctor of Behavioral Health Management Program at Arizona State University.

Advertisement

Two years later, Tillman defended her dissertation and earned her doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health from ASU’s College of Health Solutions – an achievement that makes her the youngest person in school history to earn a doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health.

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Tillman said she owes her love of learning to her grandmother, who always stressed the importance of education – even beyond what is taught in the classroom.

Advertisement

“It doesn’t just have to be all of the subjects that they teach you in school there’s so many things in the world to learn about that we wish we knew about,” she said. “I feel like that urge to learn something new just never didn’t exist for me,” she said. 

Dr. Leslie Manson, a Clinical Associate Professor at ASU describes Tillman as “inquisitive” and “intelligent,” and says her work ethic and dedication is an inspiration to other students.

Advertisement

“She has innovative ideas and motivation, which is wonderful,” Manson told GMA. “And truly, I think what is inspiring is that she embodies that meaning of being a true leader.”

Now that she’s completed her Ph. D, Tillman says she’s still trying to figure out her next move. But she knows she has plenty of time.

Advertisement

“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 like, kind of think that through,” she said.

Leave a Reply