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Russell Frank

Russell Frank is a member of the journalism faculty at Penn State. 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. A collection of his columns from the past 20 years, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," will be published this fall by the Penn State Press. Before launching his academic career at Penn State in 1998, Frank 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

Watchbirds, Bulwark Bucks and Birthday Cake
Column
Watchbirds, Bulwark Bucks and Birthday Cake
6 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Apparently, Thomas Jefferson never said “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” but that’s probably because he never hosted “Freedom of the Press Jeopardy” at the Grange Fairgrounds. [Read More]
'If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?' 'If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?'
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
You’re staying at a hotel in the South. A guest hangs a Confederate flag beach towel over the railing outside his room. How do you respond? [Read More]
Totality Was Totally Worth It
Column
Totality Was Totally Worth It
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
More awesome than the look of the sun as the moment of totality neared was the look of everything around us as the false night fell. It was like someone had hit a dimmer switch. It was just that fast. [Read More]
The Eclipse: Is the Whole World Going to POT?
Column
The Eclipse: Is the Whole World Going to POT?
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Next week’s total solar eclipse is giving me Woodstock flashbacks. Once again, I want to go. My parents, may they rest in peace, have no say in the matter. I’m the one who’s not letting me go. [Read More]
On the Cape with the Mooch
Column
On the Cape with the Mooch
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I don’t know which shocked me more, The Mooch’s word choices, or reading them, verbatim, in The New York Times. I took in these tidings during a break from watching the tide roll in on Cape Cod: Unlike many of my friends, I wasn’t craving a digital detox. I had work to do and a wireless connec [Read More]
Luxury Student Housing Should Be an Oxymoron
Column
Luxury Student Housing Should Be an Oxymoron
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Toll Brothers wants to build 'high-quality' housing for Penn State students, with resort-style amenities. But that's not the issue for the Nittany Valley Water Coalition. [Read More]
Johnstown and Shanksville: The Sky Was Crying
Column
Johnstown and Shanksville: The Sky Was Crying
12 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It was a perfect day for a trip to Johnstown: hours and hours of torrential rain. First stop was the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, 14 miles upstream from the city on the site of the dam that failed in 1889. We took a soaking walk on what remains of the carriage road across the dam and gazed int [Read More]
One Day at the Zombie Apocalypse Poultry Auction
Column
One Day at the Zombie Apocalypse Poultry Auction
14 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
On Wednesdays in Belleville, you can get yourself setup for the poultry business and at the same time prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse. [Read More]
What We Have Here Is a Failure of Leadership
Column
What We Have Here Is a Failure of Leadership
16 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I recently heard former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bemoan Americans’ cynicism and distrust when it comes to politics and politicians. Can she blame us? President Trump is only a culmination. Decades of hypocrisy and sleaze softened us up. [Read More]
From PSU to NYU to UVM: A Commencement Road Trip
Column
From PSU to NYU to UVM: A Commencement Road Trip
18 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Allow me an exhale of deepest parental satisfaction: I’m just back from watching the youngest of my three children take his place among his sisters as a holder of a college diploma. Woo-hoo! [Read More]
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