Profile of YansselI was born in Miami, FL, and I lived there until I was 23. While the postcards do capture the beauty and tropical nature of Miami Beach, they leave out the other 95% of the city, which is comprised of suburbs, strip malls, and bloodthirsy drivers. I was raised far out west in Miami, in the Westchester/Kendall area, though I did brave the traffic from time to time to enjoy the ocean.

My parents are immigrants, and I was born of very modest means. Nonetheless, my parents were loving and, apart from the standard trials and tribulations most children face in the public school system, I grew up happy. I graduated from high school in 2010 and enrolled at Florida International University, which I started in August of that same year. My intention at the time was to be a lawyer, though I had no particularly good reason for this—I simply believed it was a respectable profession and knew little more than that. In any case, my ambitions did lead me to major in philosophy, and in taking philosophy courses, I came to love the subject. Indeed, it was in studying for the LSAT during my junior year that I realized how little I cared for law and how much I longed to pursue my studies in philosophy further. That same year, I told my advisor that I wished to pursue a graduate degree in the subject.

My parents, with some persuasion, were supportive. My advisor and all of my professors warned me of the grim graduate acceptance rates and grimmer job prospects, but they were immensely helpful in the drafting of my application documents, for which I am eternally grateful. Given the timing between graduation and most graduate application deadlines, I had a free year after college. I used that time to perfect my application documents, and I worked as a high school adjunct for a semester. I applied to some number of programs. A much smaller number accepted me. Amongst them was the University of Rochester, which asked that I visit the institution and did a spectacular job wooing us prospectives—so much so, that I proudly joined their philosophy department in Fall of 2015.

Graduate school was great fun and philosophically formative. I joined the philosophy program thinking that I wanted to do philosophy of language, but I ended up opting to focus on philosophy of mind and metaphysics. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the University of Rochester and the philosophy department in particular. The graduate student culture when I was there was collegiate and kind, and some of the other graduates became some of my best friends.

I was fortunate enough to receive an offer for a tenure-track position at the University of Omaha at Nebraska in December of 2020. I, of course, accepted, finished my dissertation, and moved to Omaha (which isn't all corn fields, though it is in the middle of nowhere). I am fortunate to work with wonderful colleagues in a wonderful department.

As much as I love philosophy, it is, thankfully, not the only thing that I do. I consider one of my hobbies web design and programming, though I find I have less and less time for it, and the technologies keep multiplying. I made this website myself, and I intend to continue working on it over time. I know services like Wix and whatever else exist, but none of those grant me the flexibility of writing the code myself, and I find the creative process enjoyable. I also want to ensure that I stay on top of my skills. I also enjoy hiking, travelling for leisure when possible, reading, and eating far more than I should.

My favorite activity by far, however, is spending time with my lovely wife, whom I am incredibly lucky to have by my side.