Bernardo (Bernie) Joaquin Cantens, CPA, MA (Accounting), MA (Philosophy), and Ph.D. (Philosophy) was born in Miami, Florida. He is a first-generation Cuban American. His parents were exiled to the United States in the 1960s as political refugees from Cuba.
Bernie completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting in 1987, and he also earned his Master of Arts degree in Accounting in 1993 from Florida International University. He became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and worked in accounting for several years. In 1992, he decided to return to school, and he earned a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, graduating Cum Laude and earning an Academic Achievement Award in Philosophy. He left accounting to follow his passion and study philosophy at the University of Miami. I completed an MA and Ph. D. in Philosophy. His teaching career began as an Assistant Philosophy Professor at Barry University in Miami, Florida, where he taught for eight years. Later, he accepted an offer at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department. He was promoted to Associate Provost of Online Education and later to Associate Provost of Global Education and Online Innovation.
Bernie is Sul Ross State University's (SRSU) Executive Vice President, Provost, and Chief Academic Officer. Sul Ross is a comprehensive regional university and a Hispanic-serving institution. It is part of the Texas State University System. Sul Ross has 2,300 students and 178 faculty members (91 tenured or tenure track and 87 non-tenured). The Provost oversees an extensive curriculum comprised of 60 undergraduate programs and 22 graduate degrees, four Colleges, 17 Departments, and four campuses in Alpine, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Uvalde.
Bernie's scholarly research and teaching focus on metaphysics, logic, virtue ethics, American pragmatism, and applied ethics in the health sciences (Bioethics, Medical Ethics, Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering, Ethics for the Public's Health, Ethics of Abortion, Virtue Ethics and Nursing, and Law, Regulation and Ethics in Medicine.) His research and scholarship have been recognized through national awards, prizes, grants, and fellowships. In 2004, he received the first American Philosophical Association Award in Latin American Thought for his essay on Fransisco Vitoria's International Law. He also received the American Philosophical William James Prize in 2005 for his paper on C. S. Peirce's philosophy of religion. His research on American pragmatist C. S. Peirce also earned him a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities in 2005-2006. In 2006, he was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, where he continued his work on Peirce and evolutionary theory. He also received a National Endowment of the Humanities scholarship for a New York University (Buffalo) Summer Institute on Cuban Identity.
His teaching has also been recognized with a two-year (2014-2016) Enduring Questions Grant by the National Endowment of the Humanities. The $32,000 grant was to develop a new course entitled What is Peace? Bernie also participated in an $800,000 online teaching grant with The Council of Independent Colleges, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Cantens was the director of a new Grant funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation on Applied Humanities. The purpose of the project is to create a sustainable model for the integration of the humanities with professional programs.
Bernie is a well-published scholar with over 30 peer-reviewed articles and over 70 lectures at scholarly national and international conferences. He was the editor of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy from 2008-2013. In addition to the peer-reviewed journal articles, Bernie has several book chapters published in anthologies with the following publishers: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Blackwell Publishing, Acumen Publishing Limited, Cambridge Scholars Press, and Brill Publishing. His essay "Philosophy, Law and Mysticism in Renaissance Spain" was recently published in 2018 in A Companion to Spanish Renaissance by Brill Publishers. His book A Critical Introduction to the Ethics of Abortion: Understanding the Moral Arguments was published in February 2019 by Bloomsbury Publisher.
He is working on a manuscript: Ethics of Abortion: The Potentiality Argument. He is also working on several essays on abortion and pragmatism.