The Gala Munnings Memorial Scholarship in Social Work

Gala  Munnings

Gala Munnings, MSW was born in Nashville, Tennessee to the parents of the late Dr. John Ollis Brown, Sr. and Marie Faulkner Brown. The family moved to Miami, Florida and became very active in the civil rights movement. After the desegregation of Dade County Public schools was implemented, in part due to a lawsuit filed by her father, Dr. Brown, Ms. Munnings was among the first black children to integrate Dade County Public schools. In middle school, she became the school's first black cheerleader and led a peaceful sit-in demonstration in protest of discriminatory practices at her senior high school. Ms. Munnings' involvement in the desegregation movement in Dade county schools has been recorded and published in several South Florida historical documents. After high school, she attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating Magna Cum Laude and later earned her master's degree in Social Work from Barry University.  She traveled and lived in Nassau of the Bahamas and while there, served as Coordinator of the Social Work Program and Director of Field Education at the College of The Bahamas. She established the first after-school center for school age children in Nassau. Ms. Munnings returned to South Florida and joined Barry University in 1996. At Barry, she served as a faculty member, Coordinator and Faculty Field Instructor, and was later appointed Director of Field Education for Barry University School of Social Work. Ms. Munnings volunteered throughout the community, with the unwavering commitment to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. She was in high demand for speaking engagements and often presented to classrooms of children and young adults discussing social issues and emphasizing the importance of education. She inspired audiences of all ages to strive for excellence. Her passion for social work was a reflection of her commitment to social justice and her dedication to helping others.

Purpose of Scholarship

This scholarship recognizes outstanding full time undergraduate students who are enrolled as a sophomore, junior or senior in the Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work at Barry University; students who demonstrate dedication, commitment and ethical behaviors in practicing the values and skills of professional social work.

This scholarship is designed to prepare undergraduate students in their pursuit to advance their knowledge and skills in graduate studies. Students with a particular commitment to the promotion of social justice are encouraged to apply.

Scholarship Guidelines

Scholarships will be awarded to qualified recipients determined by the School of Social Work Scholarship Awards Committee. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be currently enrolled in the BSW program.
  2. Must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  3. Demonstrate financial need, which is determined by submission of a Student Aid Report.
  4. Must have demonstrated leadership ability and/or community engagement and dedication to the social work profession.

Recipients awarded the Gala Munnings Memorial Scholarship will receive a one-time annual award in the amount of $1,500.00, which will be applied to tuition.

Application Process

To apply for the Gala Munnings Memorial Scholarship, students must submit the following:

  1. A cover letter indicating their interest in being considered for this scholarship.
  2. A Two (2) to three (3) page essay that (a) perceptively discusses social justice and its interrelatedness to the profession of social work (b) describes ones experience(s) that clearly demonstrates community engagement and/or leadership abilities and (c) discusses ones dedication to social work and future plans to advance his/her knowledge and skills through graduate studies.
  3. One (1) letter of recommendation must be provided by an individual familiar with the student's academic performance and scholastic abilities and could thus attest to the candidate's community engagement and/or leadership skills and his/her dedication to the discipline of studies in the social work profession.
  4. Have a current FAFSA form on file with the University's Office of Financial Aid.
  5. A thank you letter to the family of the donor.

All of the above documents must be submitted at the point of application. Partial submission of documents will not be accepted. The letter of recommendations must be sent to the recipient.

Awards Stipulations

  1. The recipient of the Gala Munnings Memorial Scholarship is required to attend the awards reception. A date for the reception is announced upon selection of the scholarship recipient.
  2. Recipient serves as an active member in the School of Social Work Association while enrolled in the program.
  3. A thank you letter to the donor's family shall be submitted to the Office of the Dean upon successful completion of the BSW program.


A call for the Munnings Scholarship Application is announced annually. A scholarship will be awarded to one (1) recipient and is applied to tuition.

Please submit your completed application to:

Online submission:

Hardcopy submission:

Office of Student Services
Attention: Yvonne Alonso
Barry University School of Social Work
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, Fl 33161