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Carmelo is a first -generation immigrant Basque who spent the first eleven years in America on a large sheep ranch off the Snake River in Idaho. His life’s work began in 1982 when he created a study abroad program for Boise State University and the University of Nevada in Donosti-San Sebastian to study its culture, language and history. That program continues to introduce students to the Basque Country 42 years later. He has published articles on the Basques and on literature, including a monograph entitled Solitude: Art and Symbolism in the National Basque Monument. USAC and Urza have been recognized by the Nevada World Trade Council, the Thornton Peace Prize, the Nevada Legislature, the city of San Sebastian (The Tambor de Oro), and the Society for Basque Studies in America. In 2024 he received the Distinguished Nevadan award from the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents. He retired in 2018 as the head of the USAC.


  • PhD - University of Iowa, 1977
  • MA - University of Nevada, Reno