The City of Greeley’s ‘myGreeley’ image campaign continues its “You Can Learn It Here” theme with University of Northern Colorado professor Nan Yamprai.
Born in Bangkok to university professors of interior design, Jittapim “Nan” Yamprai seemed destined for a career in academia. After earning degrees in business, English, ethnomusicology, music history, and library science, she taught at Mahidol University in Thailand – where she developed a doctoral program for the school’s college of music – and at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) here in Greeley. Yamprai accepted a full-time position with UNC in 2015, and now she’s responsible for developing new courses and teaching in three areas : the UNC’s School of Music, Asian Studies, and Anthropology.
Yamprai’s scholarly attention traditionally focused on the meeting of East and West in music history – such as her book “Franco-Siamese Music Diplomacy in the Seventeenth Century” – her current work happens a little closer to home. She calls it “The Soundscape of Greeley,” part of an ongoing interest in integrating research into actions that promote, support, develop, and ensure the wellness of the entire community.
It began when she got involved with the Greeley Multicultural Festival.
“I saw it,” she said, “as a chance to help people learn the cultures of those who surround them.”
But when she searched for information on musicians and dancers who live in the area, she found nothing. So she started gathering data and putting it into a research plan to create a free database for musicians, dancers, and singers, as well as information about their cultures.
Through the project, Yamprai sees the opportunity to help her students learn from the people around them: Native Americans, Karenni, Burmese, and others. And, once complete, she will share the “Soundscape of Greeley” with the city, library, museum, and university – for anyone interested in opportunities to learn and appreciate the beauty of differences.
And that beauty, she said, lives on full display in her adopted home town. For Yamprai, Greeley is a welcoming place for all regardless of status; a place where kindness and friendliness are everywhere around us; a place where arts and cultural activities unite diverse people around a collaborative, learning community.
This year, the myGreeley image campaign focuses on lifelong learning and will highlight the things that people can learn right here in Greeley. Maybe learning how to make hand santizer, becoming a home educator, or how to howl at the moon. The myGreeley campaign wants to hear about all about it. Residents are encouraged to share their story at myGreeley.com