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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

We Could Be Swinging on a Star
Column
We Could Be Swinging on a Star
6 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The only sensible conclusion I can draw from my daily perusal of the news is that we humans are a sorry lot. [Read More]
Drunkenness Isn’t as Funny as It Used to Be
Column
Drunkenness Isn’t as Funny as It Used to Be
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Stroll around campus or downtown long enough and you’re bound to hear a drunk story. As in: “I (or so-and-so) was so drunk last night that I (or he) …” What follows is an “exploit” – some ridiculous thing that the drunk said or did. [Read More]
Bumped by Trump
Column
Bumped by Trump
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I had driven to Harrisburg last Friday to tell the world, or at least the segment of the world that tunes in to ABC27’s “Good Day, PA,” about my new book, “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town” (guess which). [Read More]
America’s Madness
Column
America’s Madness
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When I say we live in a madhouse, I don’t just mean right now, in this age of mass shootings and mass incarceration, of mass delusion that a conman will lead us to the promised land, and mass denial that the planet is warming, the oceans rising and the forests dying. We live in what has always bee [Read More]
Watchbirds, Bulwark Bucks and Birthday Cake
Column
Watchbirds, Bulwark Bucks and Birthday Cake
9 weeks 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?'
11 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
13 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?
14 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
16 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
18 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]
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