Synetra Gilmer’s passion for volunteering comes from a natural desire to help others. It was through others volunteering to help her that led to her attending the University of Arkansas. “My homeroom teacher in 10th grade and my principal were both UofA grads. They helped me apply for scholarships and connected me with a few of their classmates, creating a support system here for me.” Their desire to help her was instrumental in helping her make the decision to attend, and she attributes much of her professional success to her educational background.
Upon entering the University of Arkansas in 2000, Synetra began volunteering her time to many registered student organizations and even being one of the charter members for the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the NAACP. She describes this experience as her “greatest and proudest moment on campus.” In 2004, she graduated with a BSBA and began working for one of the largest retailers in the world, Wal-Mart, in the Home Office. During her five years at Wal-Mart, she earned an MBA. Then, she began and continues to work for Abbott Nutrition.
In addition to her Alumni Association membership, she continues to show gratitude by giving her time to volunteering with the Arkansas Alumni Association, being a member of the Black Alumni Society Board and serving as an advisor to her undergraduate sorority on campus, Alpha Kappa Alpha. She hopes that through giving back, she can help current students and future students find their way at the University of Arkansas. “You never know how you could impact a young person’s life by getting involved and making a difference,” Synetra said. She hopes her membership and service to the Arkansas Alumni Association continues to inspire others to make an impact, and credits the Association for helping her to continue to build a great network of professional contacts.