Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2022
Langston Tillman says he chose to study at Arizona State University because of its diverse educational offerings and broad range of resources.
Diverse and broad could also describe Tillman’s endeavors at ASU. As a student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College, he has majored in five academic disciplines, ranging across engineering, science and the humanities. He is also this semester’s Outstanding Graduate in the philosophy program.
Beyond his studies, he has participated in the activities of ASU’s American Institute of Chemical Engineers chapter, the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, or FURI, and was a Regent’s Cup Debate champion. He is also now in his second year as president of the Chess Club@ASU after serving as vice president for a year.
Among all his various academic and extracurricular activities, Tillman says he “found that a lot of what I think is cool is incorporated in the chemical engineering curriculum. Just by the diverse career fields that chemical engineering students go into, you can see just how much breadth is covered in the curriculum and beyond.”
Tillman’s studies and research experiences in the field were enhanced by Professor Alexandra Navrotsky, a “tremendous mentor,” he says, who gave him valuable guidance in his lab work and for the Barrett honors thesis he completed.
What he learned from Navrotsky and other “dedicated professors who care about their students,” Tillman says, helped him develop “the ability to critically evaluate problems,” and to experience what makes engineering rewarding.
“What we do is actually impacting human lives. Rather than working on something heavily theoretical, the way engineering translates science and technology into the betterment of lives is endlessly fascinating,” he says.
Outside of the classroom, Tillman has gained leadership experience by running the operations of ASU’s student chess club, which has more than 500 members. In the role, he hosted the club’s meetings and managed the monthly tournaments for both ASU students and other local members of the chess community. Seeing the club continue to flourish, he says, has been among his most fulfilling accomplishments.
Tillman’s studies have been aided by support from a Fulton Schools FURI Grant, a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education Scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Michael J. Konen Engineering Scholarship, an Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics Scholarship and a Regents’ Cup Oxford Debate Champion Scholarship.
He has also maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA and won the ASU Moeur Award for his academic achievements as an undergraduate.
His next step is pursuing advanced degrees. Tillman is petitioning the University of Chicago to allow him to study simultaneously for a doctoral degree in molecular engineering and a law degree. He’s already been admitted to both programs separately.