Dr. Sam Richards is an award winning teacher and sociologist and the instructor of Soc 119, the largest race and ethnic relations course in the United States. With over 700 students each semester and a twenty-year legacy, that course provides the space in which Sam can push boundaries and encourage people to uncover and question every assumption they have unwittingly inherited so that they learn to think for themselves. Sam obtained his Ph.D. from Rutgers University with a focus on socioeconomic development of Africa and Latin America but now has shifted that focus to bridging cultural divides -- locally, nationally, and internationally. Arguing that empathy is the core of Sociology, his "Radical Experiment in Empathy" is one of the most widely viewed TEDx talks online. In that talk, he walks the audience through how an average Iraqi citizen might experience U.S. military policies in their country.
Sam is also a Co-founder and the Director of Development of the World in Conversation Center. He has been instrumental in establishing partnerships at Penn State, nationally, and internationally that have created unique opportunities for our staff and students.