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Ginny Glynn Barr

Executive Director, Mental Health Association of Okaloosa/Walton Counties Inc.

Barr opened and directed the Geriatric Residential Mental Health Treatment Facility.

Due to the size of the student population, the administration and faculty knew all the students by name, and provided a focused and thriving living-learning experience. It was a mutually beneficial sense of community, because the University needed the students as much as the students needed the University. UWF provided me empowering opportunities for personal growth, education and leadership.

Why was UWF the right fit for you? Did you always know you wanted to study sociology?

UWF was the perfect size and fit for me at that time in my life. The school was new and innovative, and encouraged students to make an impact in the growth of the University. I always knew I wanted a career involved with helping people find a better life experience. As a sociology major, I learned to analyze and understand group behavior.

How did your studies at UWF prepare you to open Okaloosa County’s first geriatric residential treatment facility?

My studies advanced my interest in working with individuals and groups who were living with a psychiatric diagnosis. My time at UWF gave me the confidence to know I could succeed in my career. Beginning a new treatment facility was not only a mental health experience, but it also taught me about building construction, licensing and permit rules, as well as learning to hire residential mental health staff.

What, in your opinion, is the significance of UWF to our region?

UWF is of utmost importance to this region of Florida. The University provides a focus for academic and cultural excellence through its wide array of national and internationally recognized programs. The University is a hands-on partner in the local community and with other colleges and universities throughout the state of Florida. UWF is recognized for its leadership, academic programs and great investment in the students it serves today as well as those it will serve tomorrow.