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Communication Sciences & Disorders
McKusick Technology Center
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Communication is at the foundation of all human relationships. Unfortunately, an estimated 42 million Americans have a communication disorder that makes simple tasks frustrating or even impossible. The field of communication sciences and disorders serves those with these challenges by evaluating, diagnosing and treating disorders related to speech, language and hearing.

At USD, our faculty are active scholars and practitioners of speech-language pathology and audiology who have a shared goal to prepare forward-thinking professionals in the discipline of speech, language and hearing. Our undergraduates take part in a preprofessional degree program that is a blend of a liberal arts foundation and a general core curriculum in basic communication sciences and disorders of communication. Graduate students in our audiology and speech-language pathology programs complete coursework and on-site clinical experiences with dedicated faculty mentorship. Those who complete our programs enter the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology as academically, clinically and ethically prepared professionals.

All students graduate from our department's programs as critical thinkers who are able to evaluate and apply existing and future information, methodologies and technologies so as to meet the needs of individuals with communicative disorders in a rapidly changing world.

Join our community of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and caring professionals.

If you want to explore the science behind communication problems, as well as strategies and technologies for treatment, the USD Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders is the place for you.


Meet the Department

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in hearing loss, tinnitus, traumatic brain injury, hearing aid use, psychoacoustics, cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, literacy disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, motor speech disorders and fluency disorders. 
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lindsey Jorgensen

Lindsey Jorgensen

Chair, Communication Sciences & Disorders/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Messersmith

Jessica Messersmith

Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences/Professor


Cochlear Implants
Pediatric Audiology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kyle Brouwer

Kyle Brouwer

Bio Image for Faculty Member Stacie Carlson

Stacie Carlson

Director Sioux Falls SLP Clinic/Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Coral Dirks

Coral Dirks

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jason Fornwald

Jason Fornwald

Bio Image for Faculty Member Shelly Grinde

Shelly Grinde

Bio Image for Faculty Member Elizabeth Hanson

Elizabeth Hanson

Associate Professor


AAC, Motor Speech Disorders
Bio Image for Faculty Member Julie Kelderman

Julie Kelderman



Second Language Acquisition
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jennifer Phelan

Jennifer Phelan

Coordinator, Audiology Clinic/Assistant Professor of Practice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kathy Rosener

Kathy Rosener

Accounting Assistant
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Schneider

Jessica Schneider



Early literacy skills with an emphasis on dyslexia
Bio Image for Faculty Member Mandy Williams

Mandy Williams

Associate Professor

Known for Excellence

At USD, you'll find a high quality educational experience strengthened by our faculty's research and creative scholarship. See what makes our department exceptional.

Student Opportunities

Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to communication sciences & disorders students.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders.
Two audiologists with male patient.

USD Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic

At the USD audiology clinic, we know that a full evaluation of your hearing includes responses to tones, speech and assessment of other hearing complaints. We work with you to assess your hearing and discuss your hearing difficulties. We complete comprehensive evaluations for all ages, pediatric to aging adults and all stages of cognitive abilities.

Child in speech therapy with therapist.

Scottish Rite Children's Clinic for Speech & Language Disorders

Serving the speech and language needs of children birth to age 21 at our Sioux Falls location.

Lee Baugh smiling in front of a monitor showing brain research.

Center for Brain and Behavior Research

The Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe) promotes outstanding training of research students and fellows, feeding the pipeline of creative independent scientists in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral science.

Therapy and Fun at Speech Camp 

Each summer, the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders holds a one-week camp for children with communication impairments. Campers take part in fun group activities and receive one-on-one therapy with licensed therapists assisted by undergraduate and graduate students. Whether playing a ball game on the USD quad or completing a craft before snack time, speech specialists are helping campers with skills such as receptive language, conversational turn-taking or understanding body language.


Several students sitting and a table and discussing

Serving Our Community and Beyond

In addition to our two year-round speech, language and hearing clinics, faculty and students in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders regularly donate their time and expertise to residents of South Dakota, the region and beyond. Service examples include giving free hearing screenings to athletes who compete in the South Dakota Special Olympics games each year and holding clinical outreach trips to a Guatemalan school that serves developmentally disabled children.



The Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Speech Language Pathology and the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D) residential educational programs at the University of South Dakota are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

student success story

Emily Paris smiling.
Both audiology and speech-language pathology are unique fields that allow us to work with patients across their lifespans. Our department greatly shaped the clinician and administrator that I am today. The professors allowed me to foster my knowledge and clinical skills in a manner that felt very personalized. The investment the professors make in their students is unmatched. I am very grateful to have completed both my undergraduate and graduate educations at USD.

Emily Paris

Au.D. Audiology '20
B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders & Psychology '16
Supervisory Audiologist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Fort Meade, South Dakota

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