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Russell Frank

A collection of Russell Frank's columns from the past 20 years, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," was published this fall by the Penn State University Press. His columns for Statecollege.com won first place in the Commentary-Non Daily category of the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Chapter 2017 Spotlight contest. Frank is a member of the journalism faculty at Penn State. Before launching his academic career, he worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years. He is, by academic training, a folklorist (Ph.D., UPenn), which means, when you strip away the academic jargon, that he loves a good story. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.

Articles by Russell Frank

A Tale of Two Houses
Column
A Tale of Two Houses
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One day, I walked around the block to inspect the site of a new house under construction and was surprised to see one man, who turned out to be the owner, doing all the work himself. No, he wasn’t a contractor or in the building trades and no, he had never built a house before. [Read More]
20 Years at Penn State and Coming Back for More
Column
20 Years at Penn State and Coming Back for More
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I was coming to the end of my 20th year on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University and I had just about had it. [Read More]
Bring on the Tiny Human!
Column
Bring on the Tiny Human!
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My granddaughter is a spaghetti squash. Last week she was a carrot. Next week she’ll be a large mango. Why, I remember when she was no bigger than a lentil. Thus do we track a fetus’ growth in the 21st century. [Read More]
In Memory of My Father, on Passover
Column
In Memory of My Father, on Passover
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I rarely plan these little essays much in advance but I decided a while ago that I would write about my dad on April 16 to commemorate his 100th birthday. Now I don’t want to wait that long because it’s Passover, a time of year when I think about the old man even more than I usually do. [Read More]
Mixed Messages at Bellefonte High
Column
Mixed Messages at Bellefonte High
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m afraid the “valuable lesson” the kids who walked out of Bellefonte Area High School learned is that the adult response to school shootings is just as muddled now as it was before Parkland, before Newtown, before Columbine. [Read More]
One Good Thing About Getting Old: Knowing a Thing. Or Two.
Column
One Good Thing About Getting Old: Knowing a Thing. Or Two.
11 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
In any event (as my dad would say), The New York Times seems to know I’m getting long in the tooth (as my dad would say), so I may as well tackle the question raised by that last item on The Times’s list: Is it true that getting old is a blessing? [Read More]
It’s Time to Change the Script
Column
It’s Time to Change the Script
13 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It’s as if somebody has finally turned on the lights in a dark kitchen and we’re seeing the cockroaches that have been scurrying around all along. The kids at Sandy Hook were too little to reach the light switch. The kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are taller. But they need help from the news m [Read More]
Cheaters Are Prospering. Let’s Not Let Them.
Column
Cheaters Are Prospering. Let’s Not Let Them.
15 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Hasbro’s takeaway from its survey is that Monopoly players consider cheating part of the game, maybe even think it spices it up a bit. And so, coming this fall: Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition. If that isn’t a sign of the times, I don’t know what is. [Read More]
The Women’s March: Notes from New York
Column
The Women’s March: Notes from New York
17 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The encouraging thing for the marchers and those who agree with their messages is that if people were motivated to march the day after Trump was inaugurated, and if they remained motivated to march a year after Trump was inaugurated, they now seem that much more likely to stay motivated right on thr [Read More]
Bomb Cyclones, Tweetstorms and Cabin Fever, Oh My
Column
Bomb Cyclones, Tweetstorms and Cabin Fever, Oh My
19 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One week in and we’ve already got a contender for word of the year: bombogenesis. Bomb cyclone appeared more frequently in news reports, but I like bombogenesis better, because it captures the beginning-of-the-end zeitgeist occasioned by President Swamp and Little Rocket Man bragging about their n [Read More]
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