As part of National Volunteer Month, we’re recognizing a number of dedicated SigEp volunteers who give their time to support our chapters and mentor our undergraduate brothers. We’re grateful for the commitment of each of SigEp’s more than 3,000 volunteers.
Jason Halterman is a 2011 graduate of our Michigan Kappa Chapter at Grand Valley State. A former volunteer for Michigan Kappa, he has served as a mentor on the North Carolina Mu AVC at Elon since 2017, and since 2018 he’s been a mentor and Balanced Man Steward for South Carolina Alpha at South Carolina. Brother Halterman works at the University of South Carolina as an interpersonal violence victims advocate. He is a 2014 recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Why do you volunteer?
There are so many reasons that I volunteer with SigEp. First and foremost, SigEp developed me into the person I am today. Beyond the leadership development, interpersonal and conflict management skills, facilitation/presentation skills (which I attribute to all of the EDGE programs back in the day), SigEp is family to me. I met some of my best and closest friends through SigEp; I came out to my brothers (in a chapter meeting, nonetheless) before I came out to other friends, family, etc., because I believed my brothers were going to be the best support system for me (and they were/are).
I also recognize the importance of volunteers. When I was an undergraduate, we had one or two volunteers who came and went, but nothing consistent; I saw how other chapters were succeeding because of volunteer involvement and guidance and it frustrated me that we didn’t have that. So I vowed to myself and my brothers that I would be involved as long as I could and give back to the organization that gave so much to me … and seeing the men I’m blessed to work with grow, develop, challenge themselves to be better and achieve their goals makes every moment worth it.
Selfishly, it’s also an opportunity for me to work with students in a different setting than my work — I serve as an interpersonal violence victim advocate and prevention educator at the University of South Carolina, so in my professional work most students I work with have been subjected to some really awful things and I support them in their process post-incident. Part of my self-care and mental health work for myself is volunteering with SigEp — it reminds me there is a lot of positives and good people in this world.
How has serving as a SigEp volunteer impacted your life?
Volunteering has impacted my life a lot! I’ve built many personal and professional connections through my volunteer work that have been invaluable as I continue in my career, from networking with other volunteers at SC Alpha, or connecting with staff and volunteers at Carlson, Conclave, or summer RD training, I am so lucky to work with such a fantastic organization that is filled with passionate, amazing people. When I was in Michigan, serving as the Chapter Counselor for MI Kappa gave me the direct experience I needed to get the right assistantship for me when I moved to South Carolina for my M.Ed, which gave me the valuable experience I needed to get the job I love.
It also challenges me to continue to grow as a person and professional — the men of SC Alpha are so driven, intelligent, and hard-working; we truly are learning and growing from each other all the time. It also just brings me such joy in my life — again, it seems selfish — but building relationships with chapter members, mentoring exec positions, and seeing the men succeed bring me joy and reminds me of all the good and positive things happening in this world, when it can seem so negative. Serving as the Balanced Man Steward at SC Alpha affords me that opportunity for self-care, which continues to impact me in a positive way. It’s truly an honor to serve as a volunteer at SC Alpha and facilitate at leadership programs for SigEp.