×

About Us

Meet the Team

TEDxPSU 2018 Speakers

Past Talks

Community

A radical experiment in empathy

Sam Richards,

Originally posted on October 21, 2010

Social Justice Ethics Inequality Culture

Sam Richards is a sociologist and award-winning teacher who has been inspiring undergraduate students at Penn State since 1990. Every semester, 725 students register for his Race and Ethnic Relations course, one of the most popular classes at Penn State and the largest of its kind in the country. Through his natural ability of seeing a subject from many angles, Richards encourages students to engage more fully with the world and to think for themselves — something he did not do until his third year in college. Because of his passion for challenging students to open their minds, an interviewer recently referred to him as "an alarm clock for eighteen-year-olds."


His career began at the age of 24 when he was hired to teach a cybernetics course — just 15 minutes before the first class meeting. He remembers walking into the room without having had a moment to create a lesson plan and greeting his students, "Welcome to the course. I'm your instructor. And if you have no idea what cybernetics is, you're not alone — because I don't either." This characteristic willingness to be playfully transparent in the classroom, along with a talent for making complex ideas understandable and relevant, is the foundation of his success as a teacher.
Richards is also the co-director of the World in Conversation Project at Penn State (www.worldinconversation.org), whose mission is to create a kind of dialogue about social and cultural issues that invites the unexamined, politically incorrect thoughts of participants to the surface so that those thoughts can be submitted to conscious exploration and inquiry. The conversation topics span a range of cultural issues — from U.S. race relations to gender to faith to international racism. This year, nearly 7,000 University Park students will participate in one of more than 1,300 of these unscripted conversations. Furthermore, the project also sponsors video dialogues between Penn State students and students at other universities around the world.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
Arabic translation: Noof Fawzi Alkhamis
Malay translation: Iliani Wan Ahmad Murtadza

partnerships

A huge thank you to our partners who make all of this possible!

Alumni 26fb1ac5dd6e6937eae340ad3d5c09e93f60c2efd7b0e347065f8557f6bfbbca
Shc 61e3f1ee0cab5c54591ca90e492432f78a7aa55e7a4743018bc39f661857bbf8
Smeal 59b020393ff6fb2e8c399c801d3f448751362fc511977410263c5463e1d5bf31

Gpsa c0290778fa4c3685d470fa296febbebf77bfeb2933f0b57d0c273dda43b32b96
Engineering 653b130fb84744c61b8b3899be503f089986fb312c9778156c6f8c403bd51f11
Action surge a6fddd1e7890817a219a87d1078b00f6ec2784ce5c16de02f15266ab62748772

Leaf cb6c3a09437105e37437f48a9a10c4e0db9b464ec94ce8932f6f91e897042b5b
Johnson 3d71ff5dbe2369a91b9bfff9f50d7b56af003ba9d4a92724e1895bcb220eec06
World eed1b11838e986a40ca34be2ebb97e6482b1f1217f46e54d15bc63ad9b5a73d3

At TEDxPSU, hosted at Penn State University in State College, PA, we combine TEDTalk videos and live speakers to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxPSU is operated under license from TED.

Questions? Comments? Contact us at info@tedxpsu.com.

© 2016 Creative Jam Design