As an award-wining sociology professor at Penn State University, Sam Richards's keynotes are some of the most powerful speeches delivered. His classes, which focus mostly on race and ethnicity, rank one of the highest in participants, reaching over 700 students per term. Richards is recognized for his iconoclastic methods, which have earned him a position in a book published by David Horowitz, 'The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America." World in Conversation, an online forum founded by Richards in 2002, holds facilitated conversations that aims to revolutionize and "expand perspectives and invite greater understanding between people locally and globally."
Although the sociologist has never enrolled in any courses regarding race and ethnicity, he was called upon to teach the course in 1991 when the department could not locate another professor to instruct it. Always aware of racial and ethnic differences, Richards was fascinated by the notion of "the other," which led to his extensive travels to Japan, Haiti, Israel, Spain, Mexico and more. Influenced by his personal experiences more so than academic, Sam Richards's keynotes focus on the ethnic and racial marginalization.
Richards graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in Sociology at the University of Toledo in Spain, his hometown. He received his Ph.D for Political Sociology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.