Biology major, Pre-med
Union City, New Jersey
Born in Cuba, Yansel was the first in his immediate family to attend college. At Seton Hall he found his calling and a world of opportunity, which allowed him to get started on his dream immediately. Yansel yearns to be a first-class researcher and a doctor. The hands-on learning environment at Seton Hall got him started. “I got into the labs right away in my freshman year. Dr. Chu was so supportive; she allowed me to start working in her lab on her grant-funded research to determine if naturally occurring compounds could reduce the side effects and increase the effectiveness of prescription medication. Dr. Chu always made time for me and got back to me right away even though she was very busy.”
Yansel also benefited from two highly competitive summer research programs, one at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (researching flesh-eating bacteria) and the other at Harvard Medical School (researching cavity-causing bacteria). Alongside faculty and graduate mentors, his research at Harvard led to publishing an article in the Journal of Dental Research. “The program at Harvard was very competitive and only about 10 students from across the country were chosen to participate. I felt so lucky, and I learned so much and loved the experience.”
Yansel was able to balance his love of science and research with his affinity for music and explore this side of his interests. As a music minor he took multiple music courses and was also a member of the University Pep band, Chamber Orchestra and the University Choir. “Music is a science itself,” he says. “Music helped me become well rounded and nurtured my creative side. It also enhanced my analytical abilities.” Yansel’s experience is a true testament to the benefits of Seton Hall’s liberal arts foundation and an interdisciplinary approach to learning.
Living off campus for the last two years in an apartment with friends, Yansel says he still “spends all day on campus, practically from 8 am to midnight. I am so busy and feel so connected to campus.” Yansel has stepped into so many leadership roles on campus, serving as president of the Golden Key International Honors society and co-founding the Seton Hall Film Society. “Seton Hall gives you so many opportunities to be a leader and I have grown so much as a leader, learning to plan, organized, be proactive and to serve others and make a difference.”
After all my experiences at Seton Hall, I feel very confident about my skills and my resume, Yansel says. “My Seton Hall education helped me put what I was learning in the classroom into practice, helped me think critically and analytically, and taught me to problem solve and investigate. I couldn’t have done any of this without the help of my faculty and a pre-med adviser who always made time for me but, most importantly, believed in and supported me.”