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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

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Biopic
Column
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Biopic
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Oliver Stone crashed my computer. I’m sure it was him. We had spent the day in Vergina, a northern Greek village that gained international prominence in 1977 when archeologists found the tomb of Philip II, a significant figure in his own right, but best known as the father of Alexander the Great. [Read More]
In Bulgaria, Finding the Unexpected
Column
In Bulgaria, Finding the Unexpected
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
In which Russell Frank connects V.I. Lenin and J.V. Paterno. [Read More]
Ball of Confusion Ball of Confusion
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
So here I am, checking in from Possidi (as in Poseidon), a beach town on the Chalkidiki peninsula in northern Greece. On the maps it’s on the lowest of three fingers that jut into the Aegean Sea like a catcher telling the pitcher to throw the slider. The top finger is home to the 2,000 monks who w [Read More]
Greece: Jolly and Melancholy
Column
Greece: Jolly and Melancholy
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Appearances, my Greek friends tell me, may deceive. Anyone who can while away the afternoon in a café must not be working. And the reason they’re not working is that they don’t have full-time jobs, or any jobs at all. A decade after Greece’s economy hit the skids, unemployment remains around [Read More]
Greetings from Greece!
Column
Greetings from Greece!
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
THESSALONIKI, GREECE – My first morning here, I awoke at dawn to Homer’s wine-dark sea — if the sea in question were a rosé. Twelve hours later, it was the sky that was pink, the sea a darkening sapphire. [Read More]
Doing the Ellie-Nellie Two-Step
Column
Doing the Ellie-Nellie Two-Step
11 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I am giddy with granddaughters. There’s Penelope, a year old already, and now there’s Elleka, born last week. I managed to see both of these precious ones last week, which took some doing. Elleka lives in Vancouver. Penelope lives in Boulder, Colo. [Read More]
The Rites of Fall
Column
The Rites of Fall
13 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As entrances go, Jeff Brown’s was the grandest. Brown stormed into his first-year seminar with his phone to his ear, barking something along the lines of, “If you flunked the class, you flunked the class. There’s nothing I can do about it.” [Read More]
Sweet Hospitality
Column
Sweet Hospitality
15 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
In my next life I’m going to be a bed tester. I have slept in 15 beds this summer and I’m not done yet. By the end of September, I may sleep in as many as eight more. [Read More]
More American Madness
Column
More American Madness
17 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If you watched the debates last week you might have noticed that gun control was hardly even a topic. The debates took place before the shootings in El Paso and Dayton – but after the shootings in Gilroy. Only two and three days after. [Read More]
Summer of ’69: The Moon, the Mets and a Camp in the Poconos
Column
Summer of ’69: The Moon, the Mets and a Camp in the Poconos
19 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The summer Neil Armstrong walked on the moon was an awkward time for me. I was too old for camp and too young for Woodstock. [Read More]
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