Sam Richards, Ph.D., HPS

Sam Richards, Ph.D., HPS
Teaching Professor of Sociology
Co-Founder, World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy

Curriculum Vitae


1983 - B.A., University of Toledo
1985 - M.A., University of Toledo
1992 - Ph.D., Rutgers University

Professional Bio

Dr. Samuel Richards is an award-winning sociologist, speaker, and teaching professor at Penn State University who instructs the largest race and cultural relations course in the United States. With nearly 800 students each semester and a 30-year legacy, SOC 119 was the subject of an Emmy Award winning television broadcast called, “You Can’t Say That.” This course is currently live streamed to the world (and 140,000 subscribers from 170 countries) every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon (EST) at the class YouTube channel. Sam’s videos have generated over 130 million views on video platforms. His willingness to take risks and challenge orthodox thinking is what led him to be named one of the “101 Most Dangerous Professors in America” and the “face of critical race theory.”  He obtained his Ph.D. from Rutgers University with a focus on socioeconomic development of Africa and Latin America, but this stage in his career Sam considers himself to be a generalist who thinks about a wide range of issues impacting people around the world. Arguing that empathy is the core of sociology, his "Radical Experiment in Empathy" is one of the most widely viewed TEDx talks online, having reached over 4 million people. As the Co-Founder at the World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy, Sam co-directed an innovative research project sponsored by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme to develop a virtual, facilitated cross-cultural dialogue tool for NATO military personnel and civilians in conflict zones. His work has been reported on in The New York Times, MSNBC, The Christian Science Monitor, and PBS, as well as numerous other national and international media outlets in Colombia, Korea, and throughout the Middle East.
Sam Richards
(814) 863-7456
416 Oswald Tower University Park , PA 16802
Mailroom: 203 Oswald Tower