Sam Richards

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, College of Liberal Arts
Director of the World in Conversation Project (WCP)
2010 TLT Faculty Fellow
Focus Area: World in Conversation

Sam Richards is a sociologist and award-winning teacher who has been addressing race issues and inspiring undergraduate students at Penn State since 1990. Every semester 725 students register for SOC 119, the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country. In that room they have the opportunity to re-examine the world and challenge what they believe to be their place in it from a new perspective. His class is praised by students and faculty from all sides of the political spectrum.

Dr. Richards is also the co-director of the World in Conversation Project (WCP) (formally the Race Relations Project). The project’s mission is to create an ideologically neutral environment for dialogue where individuals can voice their unscripted thoughts and concerns about issues ranging from race to gender to globalization to Middle East relations. This coming year about 7,000 students will participate in one of over 1,000 WCP conversations on the Penn State – University Park campus.

Sam has used his TLT Faculty Fellow time revamping the organizational structure of his SOC 119 course, as well as laying the foundation of the transition from the Race Relations Project to the World in Conversation Project.


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