The Etxepare Basque Institute and the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education on behalf of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, signed on March 6, 2014 an agreement to collaborate and to promote knowledge of and research into the Basque diaspora and Basque culture globally, thereby establishing “The Jon Bilbao Research Fellowship on the Basque Diaspora” (“Fellowship” hereafter) for the 2014-2016 period. The Fellowship honors Jon Bilbao, bibliographer and co-founder of the Center for Basque Studies (the then Basque Studies Program) at the University of Nevada, Reno, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Presentation of the Jon Bilbao Fellowship at press conference. From left to right: José Antonio Rodríguez Ranz, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (University of Deusto) / Asier Vallejo, Director for the Basque Community Abroad (Basque Government) / Mari Jose Olaziregi, Co-Director of the Etxepare Institute / Aizpea Goenaga, Director of the Etxepare Institute / Pedro J. Oiarzabal, “Jon Bilbao Fellow” / and José Javier Pardo, Vice-Rector of the University of Deusto Source: Irekia.
Pedro J. Oiarzabal, a PhD researcher on Migration and Diaspora Studies at the Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute (University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain), was selected as the first recipient of the “Fellowship” for the aforementioned period. Dr. Oiarzabal’s approved research project is titled, “Memoria Bizia. The Basque Diaspora Living Heritage Project. United States and Canada, 2014-2016.” Dr. Oiarzabal holds a PhD in Basque Studies-Political Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, a MPhil in Economics and Social Sciences from Queen's University of Belfast (N. Ireland), and BA in History from the University of Deusto (Bilbao). Among his publications are "Gardeners of Identity: Basques in the San Francisco Bay Area" (2009), "Diasporas in the New Media Age: Identity, Politics, and Community" (2010), the oral history video "Fragments of Our Lives" (2013, http://youtu.be/F_Dusb26nhA), and "The Basque Diaspora Webscape: Identity, Nation, and Homeland, 1990s-2010s" (2013).