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Russell Frank

Russell Frank worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State in 1998. He roots for the Yankees, plays blues guitar and harmonica (badly), bikes and hikes for physical exercise and does The New York Times crossword puzzle for mental exercise. He is, by academic training, a folklorist (Ph.D., UPenn), which means, when you strip away all the academic jargon, that he loves a good story. He is the author of "Newslore: Contemporary Folklore on the Internet." His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.

Articles by Russell Frank

Life in Prison: It's Not a Nice Place to Visit and You Wouldn't Want to Live There
Column
Life in Prison: It's Not a Nice Place to Visit and You Wouldn't Want to Live There
6 days ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I had asked Mrs. Vedam what she thought her son would have done with his life if he hadn't gone to prison. Without hesitation, she said, "He would have been a physicist like his father." [Read More]
Gonna Buy Me a UAV
Column
Gonna Buy Me a UAV
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If I had a Parrot I would have it proctor my exams. When I patrol the aisles I trip over backpacks. This slows me down. While I sidle along the strait between Rows 1 and 2, the students in Rows 7 and 8 have ample time to check their cheat sheets. [Read More]
6 Cakes, 500 Miles, Go
Column
6 Cakes, 500 Miles, Go
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This recalled the Brisket Incident. My mother had made me an offer I couldn't refuse: She would bring a brisket to our Passover Seder in State College. From Florida. (It is apparently a Frank family tradition to transport perishable foodstuffs across state lines.) [Read More]
A Toast from the Father of the Bride (the Long Version)
Column
A Toast from the Father of the Bride (the Long Version)
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
How does a father talk about the exquisite pleasure of gazing upon his daughter in her wedding dress without melting away in a flood of memories and tears? Since I can't possibly welcome, thank, reminisce, philosophize and blubber in two minutes, here is the unabridged version ... [Read More]
Camping: The Uncomfortable Truth
Column
Camping: The Uncomfortable Truth
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I put everything Ursus americanus might sniff out into a bear-proof box, zipped myself into tent and sleeping bag, and tried to sleep on a blow-up mattress that was slightly wider than my body, knowing that I would have to unzip and rezip in a few hours to heed the call of nature. [Read More]
Confessions of a 10,000-Steps Maniac
Column
Confessions of a 10,000-Steps Maniac
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
On days when I fell a little short, I was suddenly up for an after-dinner stroll, even in wet or frigid weather. (A fellow Fitbit fanatic I know went around the block in flip-flops one icy night to fill his steps quota and slipped and broke his collarbone.) [Read More]
A Giant Among Hikers
Column
A Giant Among Hikers
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
On the trail, true to form, Jean, 76, brought up the rear, along with an 83-year-old hiker named Leona. "I'm not the oldest," Jean told me, "but I'm the slowest." It began to rain, as predicted. No one seemed to mind. [Read More]
As I Was Saying ...
Column
As I Was Saying ...
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Since I last wrote for StateCollege.com two summers ago I have: • Fomented a civil war in Ukraine • Moved four times, with a fifth coming next month • Driven from East Coast to West Coast and back again. (My advice: stay in the college towns – they have better restaurants.) [Read More]
Russell Frank's Final Column, Final Thoughts
Column
Russell Frank's Final Column, Final Thoughts
105 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
And now, Grand Experiment 2.0: Can Penn Staters de-consecrate football and relegate it to its proper place as an enjoyable weekend pastime? [Read More]
Russell Frank: Oh, Things are Just Peachy Around Here
Column
Russell Frank: Oh, Things are Just Peachy Around Here
106 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It is the job of everyone who cares about this university – trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni -- to see to it that effective checks and balances are installed and to recommit to the idea of Penn State as a place where academics matter more than athletics. [Read More]
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