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Russell Frank

A collection of Russell Frank's columns, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," is available from the Penn State University Press. His columns for StateCollege.com won first place for commentary in the 2019 Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Chapter Best in Journalism contest. The winning columns: The Women’s March: Notes from New York, It’s Time to Change the Script and Mixed Messages at Bellefonte High. 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. 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

I Was Attacked by a Py(rannosaurus)rex – and Lived!
Column
I Was Attacked by a Py(rannosaurus)rex – and Lived!
2 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Thanks to those spoilsports in the infectious disease community who do not want to see us all sicken and die, I am prepared for an intimate little Thanksgiving dinner for two tomorrow, rather than the food orgy for 50 we usually attend. I was not prepared for thermal shock. [Read More]
Opinion: A Time to Bask
Column
Opinion: A Time to Bask
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The word that seems to come up more than any other with regard to Joe Biden is decency. At any other time, that might sound like damning with faint praise. After four years of Trump, it’s manna from heaven. [Read More]
Opinion: A Last-Ditch, Almost Certainly Vain Appeal to Trump Voters
Column
Opinion: A Last-Ditch, Almost Certainly Vain Appeal to Trump Voters
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m sure you’re aware that you drive the rest of us crazy. For some of you, that’s probably part of the fun of being a Trump loyalist. Whatever the libs are for, you’re against, right? Same here when it comes to the items on most conservative wish lists. [Read More]
A Letter from Uncle Sam to Our Young Century
Column
A Letter from Uncle Sam to Our Young Century
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Dear 21st Century, What the heck? You’ve been nothing but trouble from the day you were born, and now that you’ve left your teens and might be expected to show a little maturity, you’re wreaking havoc on an even more terrible scale. [Read More]
Among the Luftmenschen
Column
Among the Luftmenschen
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I think it was my mother who, seeing I had no head for business, law, medicine, or any practical pursuit whatsoever, first sized me up as a luftmensch, a person with his head in the clouds. The type who is more likely to become a Ph.D. than a CEO. [Read More]
Groundhog Day-Week-Month-Season
Column
Groundhog Day-Week-Month-Season
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m not here to talk about “Groundhog Day,” the movie. My topic is Groundhog, the Devourer. If you grew a garden this summer, you know whereof I speak. [Read More]
Notes from Week 1: In-person? Remote? It May Not Matter; The Al Fresco Fiasco
Column
Notes from Week 1: In-person? Remote? It May Not Matter; The Al Fresco Fiasco
12 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Count my students among those who expect a spike in COVID-19 cases to force Penn State to lock its classrooms before leaf-peeping season. Their pessimism didn’t surprise me. This did: Even if all their classes go remote, they’re staying in Happy Valley. [Read More]
Are You Ready for Grand Experiment 2?
Column
Are You Ready for Grand Experiment 2?
14 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Nothing came of it, but during a kaffeeklatsch I attended in Holmes-Foster Park last week (don’t worry, each of us had his own picnic table), somebody proposed a betting pool: How long until Penn State tells its students to “pack up?” [Read More]
How to Vote by Mail – and How Not to
Column
How to Vote by Mail – and How Not to
16 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I like voting in person. I like bumping into neighbors at the polling place and schmoozing with the cheery volunteers who sign me in and hand me my ballot. This year, though, fearful that coronavirus will not miraculously vanish by Election Day, I’ve arranged to vote by mail. [Read More]
Tough Week at the Orifice
Column
Tough Week at the Orifice
18 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Don’t worry, you won’t need to mask up or bust out the wipes before reading this column. [Read More]
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