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USD Helps Local Community Member Overcome Hearing Loss, Paves Way for Law School

CodyLee Riedman looking over a book with pen and pad of paper nearby. With help from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, CodyLee Riedmann felt prepared for law school after he received hearing aids.

VERMILLION, S.D. – CodyLee Riedmann, a first-year University of South Dakota School of Law student, didn’t have hearing problems until he was about 18 years old. Throughout his younger years, he listened to loud music and went to several live concerts, and over time developed tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Riedmann knew something was wrong, but said he was too self-conscious to find help – until he found a call-for-patients with hearing loss from USD’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).

Lindsey Jorgensen, Ph.D., associate professor in communication sciences and disorders, designed a study looking at the effects of hearing loss at different life stages and needed patients to test their hearing. Riedmann came to Jorgensen and learned the damage to his hearing was too great to participate in the study. But that didn’t stop Jorgensen from wanting to help Riedmann. A couple of months later, she reached out.

“I said to him, ‘let’s talk about some hearing aids outside of this research study because it’s clear you need some.’ I definitely thought of CodyLee and thought he would be someone really good to help me teach the concepts of hearing aids.”

Since then, Jorgensen said she watched Riedmann blossom as a person in the community and as a student at the university.

Riedmann quit his job and made the decision to go to law school at USD because being able to hear gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.

“I am extremely grateful towards Lindsey and the whole department,” Riedmann said.

Learn more about Riedmann's story at


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News