In the world of academia and achievement, one name shines brightly – Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman, II, affectionately known as “DJ” or “Dorothy Jeanius.” At the age of 17, she has not only earned herself a Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) degree from Arizona State University but has also become a beacon of inspiration for aspiring young minds around the globe.
Early Beginnings and Academic Prowess
Dorothy Jean’s journey into higher education began at the age of 10 when she enrolled as a college freshman at the College of Lake County, majoring in psychology. By the age of 14, she had already earned her Master of Science degree from Unity College in Unity, Maine, solidifying her status as the youngest environmental and sustainable scientist in the country. Her academic achievements continued with the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Humanities at Excelsior College in 2018.
A Visionary Leader and Entrepreneur
Beyond her academic triumphs, Dorothy Jean is the founder and CEO of the Dorothyjeanius STEAM Leadership Institute. Launched in 2020, this institute encompasses Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Labs in both Chicago and West Capetown, South Africa. The focus is on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education, creating pathways for underrepresented groups to excel in these fields.
Bridging the Gap in Mental Health Education
Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman’s latest accomplishment is the completion of her DBH at Arizona State University. Her research concentrated on implementing outreach and education programs aimed at reducing the stigma associated with using campus mental health services among college-aged students. This work reflects her commitment to bringing attention to mental and behavioral health services within educational institutions and community-based organizations.
Advocacy for Mental Health in Education
In a recent interview with Black Enterprise, Dr. Tillman highlighted the challenges students face in accessing mental health support in schools. She emphasized the need for a multifaceted approach to supporting students, especially those from underrepresented groups. Through her STEAM Leadership Institute, she aims to address these challenges and create opportunities for students to thrive in STEAM-related fields.
Recognitions and Awards
Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman’s exceptional achievements have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized with numerous honors, awards, and recognitions, including the Black Enterprise 40 Under 40 – Tech, the 2021 WVON 40 Under 40 Gamechangers, and the 2019 Young Shining Star Award from the National Association of Black Elected Legislative Women.
Inspiring Future Generations
Dr. Tillman’s story is not just about collecting degrees; it is about creating a space for future generations to dream big. Her commitment to integrating arts and STEM education through the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute exemplifies her dedication to quality education over quantity. The summer camp program within the institute has already produced young entrepreneurs, showcasing the real-world impact of her visionary approach.
In a world that often demands specialization, Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman stands out as a multifaceted prodigy, blending her expertise in environmental science, behavioral health, and leadership. As she prepares to participate in the commencement ceremony for her DBH, she continues to inspire and lead by example, embodying her motto, “Leading by Examples of Excellence.” Dr. Tillman’s journey is a testament to the power of education, mentorship, and a relentless pursuit of one’s passion, setting a high bar for what is possible at any age.
In the realm of aerospace engineering, a groundbreaking achievement has been made by Dr. Nialah Wilson-Small, a trailblazing individual whose journey has rewritten history. She has become the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, marking a historic milestone in her illustrious academic career.
Dr. Wilson-Small currently serves as an Industry Assistant Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, a position that reflects not only her academic prowess but also her standing in the industry. Recognized by Forbes in the prestigious 30 Under 30 list in the Science category for 2024, she stands as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring engineers and scientists.
Her academic journey commenced at Howard University, where she earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. Subsequently, she pursued her master’s and doctoral degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, graduating in 2022. Dr. Wilson-Small’s research centers around coordination algorithms for large collectives of simple robots, with a particular emphasis on human-drone interactions. She explores the integration of physical feedback to influence human motion, opening new avenues for communication in diverse applications.
Dr. Wilson-Small’s historic moment was celebrated with pride on her LinkedIn page. She shared her successful dissertation defense, proudly declaring herself as the first Black woman to achieve a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. This milestone not only symbolizes her personal triumph but also represents a significant stride forward for diversity and inclusion in the field. Read more about Dr. Nialah here.