Contact Us

Communication Studies
Dakota Hall, Room 319
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 Studies

Communication studies explores the meanings people share through verbal and nonverbal messages in relationships, organizations and societies. This is an expansive field, encompassing sub-disciplines ranging from health communication to persuasion.

At USD, our faculty have the expertise and creativity needed to deliver high-quality education and research in this rapidly-growing field. Our students learn to think creatively, pursue the answers to their questions, explore various perspectives, listen responsively and develop into leaders equipped with a range of marketable skills. With dynamic classes, valuable internship opportunities and flexible programs, our department prepares students to excel in a wide variety of fields spanning government, education, sales, marketing, media, non-profits and more.

Join our community of communicators, thinkers and leaders in the USD Department of Communication Studies.


Faculty & Staff

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Communication Studies. Our faculty provide a well-rounded education for students, offering courses in health, interpersonal, family, organizational and nonverbal communication, as well as other topics and various research methods.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Leah Seurer

Leah Seurer

Chair, Communication Studies/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Nicole Ackman

Nicole Ackman

Bio Image for Faculty Member Jennifer Hough

Jennifer Hough

Basic Course Director/Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kristina Lee

Kristina Lee

Assistant Professor


Communication Studies, Rhetoric
Bio Image for Faculty Member April Lovrien

April Lovrien

Bio Image for Faculty Member Dominic Manthey

Dominic Manthey

Assistant Professor


Political Communication and Rhetorical Studies

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 studies students.
Faculty and students in a class discussing a communication topic


In the USD Department of Communication Studies, our students don't just learn how to ask interesting questions; they find the answers. Our undergraduate and graduate students work directly with faculty on research projects, often traveling across the region or nation to conduct and present research. Our faculty lead this collaboration with rich expertise, contributing cutting-edge research to their disciplines and bringing that knowledge to the classroom through dynamic course offerings.

Two students on a stage, communicating

Get Involved

Through organizations like Lambda Pi Eta, communication studies students develop their skills and build a community with lifelong friends.


Student and professor sitting at a table while looking at a screen and discussing

Mentorship and Professional Connections

In the Department of Communication Studies, our faculty are committed to helping our students explore their interests and achieve their goals. Through one-on-one mentorship, advising and research guidance, faculty help students discover their paths in the field of communication and other career interests. We also pair students with alumni and friends in the area and across the country so they can gain valuable experience and support from a mentor in their field.


student success story

Sadie Swier smiling.
I knew communication studies was the right major for me because of the informative classes, supportive educators and the immense opportunities for students. From the first interpersonal communications class my freshman year, I loved the content and how we connected it to our professional and personal life. Department staff focused on helping students achieve their goals and I found lifelong mentors who I'm still in touch with today!

Sadie Swier

B.S. Communication Studies & Psychology '18
Director, SD CEO East Women's Business Center
Greater Sioux Falls Area, South Dakota