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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

Don’t Worry, It’s Multiple Choice
Column
Don’t Worry, It’s Multiple Choice
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Hello again everyone and welcome to the column-length version of “Freedom of the Press Jeopardy,” the game that reminds you why journalism matters and where the only thing that’s fake is the prize money. [Read More]
Nothing Like That New Baby Smell
Column
Nothing Like That New Baby Smell
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Few people noticed when a new human arrived on planet Earth at 12:27 a.m. MDT on Aug. 23. Perhaps that is because she was one of 250 humans born during that minute, one of 15,000 born between midnight and 1 a.m., and one of 360,000 born on that date. [Read More]
The Umpire Strikes Back
Column
The Umpire Strikes Back
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Go among the newsroom natives and what you see – surprise! – aren’t cogs in a propaganda machine but humans who are trying like hell to suss out what’s going on in the world and then present it as accurately and compellingly as they can to the public. [Read More]
What I Wouldn’t Do for a Bucket of Blueberries – or a Column
Column
What I Wouldn’t Do for a Bucket of Blueberries – or a Column
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I count seven supermarkets within 5 miles of my house. All of them sell blueberries. But for a certain member of my household, farm-raised berries just wouldn’t do, not after backpacking in Yosemite last month wakened the hunter-gatherer within. Our berries had to be wild, free-range, gluten-free, [Read More]
Mothers and Choppers and Bears, Oh My!
Column
Mothers and Choppers and Bears, Oh My!
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK -- Animals aren’t stupid, especially when it comes to acquiring nourishment, which they seek with a singlemindedness matched only by adolescent boys’ pursuit of sex. [Read More]
The Pack is Full. Will He Hoist It? Stay Tuned.
Column
The Pack is Full. Will He Hoist It? Stay Tuned.
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I bought a new backpack this spring without it ever occurring to me that I might soon be too old for backpacking, if I’m not too old already. [Read More]
Never TMI
Column
Never TMI
13 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It could be an Italian thing. Or a Mediterranean thing. Or maybe it’s just that the Italian-speaking State College friend we were visiting is so simpatico that troubled souls pour their hearts out to her. [Read More]
Try to Remember – But Keep a Travel Diary in Case You Forget
Column
Try to Remember – But Keep a Travel Diary in Case You Forget
15 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
On the eve of my departure for Italy and Greece, a tattered notebook crammed with my familiar scrawl reminds me that I was wandering around the same two countries at this season 40 years ago. [Read More]
Not Too Late to Seek a Newer World
Column
Not Too Late to Seek a Newer World
17 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If you ask adrenalin junkies if the rush is worth the risk, I suppose they’d say life without these sorts of experiences would not be worth living and that there could be no better death than dying while doing what you love. I think I get that. Old as I am, it’s not fear of dying that stops me f [Read More]
A Tale of Two Houses
Column
A Tale of Two Houses
19 weeks 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]
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