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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

It’s Time to Change the Script
Column
It’s Time to Change the Script
5 days 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.
3 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
5 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
7 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]
Sweep out the Old, Sweep in the New
Column
Sweep out the Old, Sweep in the New
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
So here is what l’m thinking on this dark, damp early winter day. I start with the belief that our lives are precious and if precious, sacred. One ramification is that since there’s no reason to believe that our lives are more sacred than anyone else’s, we must treat everyone as if their lives [Read More]
A Shaggy Dog Story
Column
A Shaggy Dog Story
11 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Bop used up his allotment of dog years in 2004, but I became his avatar last weekend when, armed with only a rake, I strode into my flower beds and emerged an hour later bristling with burs. From the top of my head to the tip of my tail, if I had one, I was speckled with Virginia stickseed. [Read More]
Sweat the Small Stuff
Column
Sweat the Small Stuff
13 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I just read a study by colleagues in the communications world that confirms what I endlessly preach in the classroom: Grammar still matters. So does spelling, punctuation and making sure words mean what you think they mean. [Read More]
We Could Be Swinging on a Star
Column
We Could Be Swinging on a Star
15 weeks 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
17 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
19 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]
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