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Russell Frank

Russell Frank is a member of the journalism faculty at Penn State. 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. A collection of his columns from the past 20 years, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," will be published this fall by the Penn State Press. Before launching his academic career at Penn State in 1998, Frank 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

Clownology 101: Your Resident Folklorist Weighs In
Column
Clownology 101: Your Resident Folklorist Weighs In
51 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Everywhere I look, I see creepy clowns. Except I'm not actually seeing them. No one is. [Read More]
The Hippie, Bub and Donald Trump
Column
The Hippie, Bub and Donald Trump
52 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Trump. Trump-Pence. Make America Great Again. One sign after another. We were driving southwest on state Route 45 over the weekend, bikes on the back of the car, heading to the Lower Trail for an afternoon ride. I remembered making the same trip eight years ago and seeing nothing but McCain-Palin s [Read More]
Childhood Relived in 30 Minutes
Column
Childhood Relived in 30 Minutes
53 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If you lived in a New York City apartment in the 1950s and dreamed of raising your kids in a house with a yard, you might have ventured no farther out on Long Island than Elmont, just over the city line. [Read More]
This Week's Other Grim Anniversary
Column
This Week's Other Grim Anniversary
54 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When I got to campus I saw a blanket covering the body of Melanie Spalla, an undergraduate from Altoona. I heard that Nicholas Mensah, a student from Ghana, had been seriously wounded. I heard about the bullet that penetrated student Kerry Butler's backpack. [Read More]
Love Ya, You're Beautiful, Now Get Outta Here
Column
Love Ya, You're Beautiful, Now Get Outta Here
55 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Thanks to my long years of service to the university and my even longer tenure here on Planet Earth, I am eligible to participate in a Voluntary Retirement Plan. Participation in the Voluntary Retirement Plan, you may be relieved to know, is "entirely voluntary." [Read More]
A Swell Birthday
Column
A Swell Birthday
56 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
A line from a poet I'm fond of floated into consciousness as I clapped an ice bag to my left leg over the weekend. "I've gone back to the old ways of defeat," wrote Richard Hugo, "the softball field, familiar dust and thud." [Read More]
A Brutal Beginning
Column
A Brutal Beginning
57 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It sounds like a cop show plot, but it isn't. This was the account of a Penn State professor's death as relayed to us from the local police via the news media. This was real. This was here. This was last week. For those of us who work in Penn State's College of Communications, this was our collea [Read More]
McCurry at the Palmer: Go
Column
McCurry at the Palmer: Go
58 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
A smiling man carries a sewing machine through floodwaters that come up to his chin. A turbaned man covered in green powder is borne by a large group of turbaned men covered in red powder. These are some of the photographs on view at Penn State's Palmer Museum of Art through Sept. 18. [Read More]
News for New Profs: Sorry, You're Just Not Cool
Column
News for New Profs: Sorry, You're Just Not Cool
59 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Get over yourself. That is what I plan to tell my new Penn State colleagues next week. [Read More]
This Election's a No-Brainer
Column
This Election's a No-Brainer
60 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Didn't we have this conversation 16 years ago? [Read More]
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