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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

How to Vote by Mail – and How Not to
Column
How to Vote by Mail – and How Not to
3 days 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
2 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]
My Highly Exclusive Shark-Free Swim Club
Column
My Highly Exclusive Shark-Free Swim Club
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
We decided to splurge on a membership in an exclusive swim club. How exclusive? Since we joined, we haven’t seen another soul. And the amenities are top-drawer: full bar, current issues of magazines, ready access to yummy snacks. The best part, though, was the membership fee: $50. [Read More]
Please Don’t Put Me in a Room with a Bunch of 20-Year-Olds!
Column
Please Don’t Put Me in a Room with a Bunch of 20-Year-Olds!
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I never thought I’d say this, but given a choice between room and Zoom, I’ll take Zoom. [Read More]
Seeing, Sadly, Is Believing
Column
Seeing, Sadly, Is Believing
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It’s great to see this worldwide show of support for Black Lives Matter, galling that it takes videographic evidence to galvanize that support. Black people have been telling us and telling us and telling us about the terrors of being black in America for years – decades – centuries. [Read More]
Home at Last
Column
Home at Last
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m no Odysseus and I wandered for 10 months, not 10 years, but it was hard not to feel like the hero of my own epic journey when I turned the key to my front door last week. [Read More]
Make Way for Goslings
Column
Make Way for Goslings
12 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
We’re godparents! Franklin and Eleanor Goosevelt, the only creatures we’ve seen regularly since we were all told not to breathe on each other, hatched goslings last week. [Read More]
Community Coronavirus Diary: Penn Staters Abroad Who Had to Come Home
Column
Community Coronavirus Diary: Penn Staters Abroad Who Had to Come Home
14 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Antiquities smuggling in India. Cattle ranching in Namibia. Mayan art in Mexico. Such wide-ranging research interests took Penn State faculty members all over the world during the 2019-2020 academic year. But when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic last month, they had to figure out whether to come ho [Read More]
Is It OK to Walk with Friends?
Column
Is It OK to Walk with Friends?
16 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Coming out of quarantine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, at least not while a stay-at-home order is in effect. My beloved and I emerged last week, 14 days after our hasty departure from Greece. How hasty was it? Until a few days ago, all the bills in my wallet were euros, not dollars. [Read More]
Community Diary 2: Virtual Ritual, Real Plow and the Groceries That Came in the Night
Column
Community Diary 2: Virtual Ritual, Real Plow and the Groceries That Came in the Night
17 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I recently asked friends, colleagues and readers to send me short items that chronicle this weird and scary time we are all living through. Here is the second batch. [Read More]
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