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Russell Frank

A collection of Russell Frank's columns from the past 20 years, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," was published this fall by the Penn State University Press. 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. 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 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

We're All Over the News (Uh-oh)
Column
We're All Over the News (Uh-oh)
55 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Our little town and our big university are making national news again, for better and for worse. Russell Frank takes a closer look at four stories that drew national interest in the past week [Read More]
It's Time to Give Lifers a Chance at Life
Column
It's Time to Give Lifers a Chance at Life
56 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
There's a faint glimmer of hope for Pennsylvanians who are condemned to spend the rest of their lives in prison. [Read More]
Of Trumps and Chumps
Column
Of Trumps and Chumps
57 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
We were strolling one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Central Pennsylvania when we heard a child hawking her wares from a table across the street. When we approached the table, though, we saw that the little street vendor was not selling lemonade and brownies. She was flogging rocks for 25 cents a [Read More]
I'm Handing the Ball to Hillary
Column
I'm Handing the Ball to Hillary
58 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I have a lot riding on this election. My record stands at 5-6 – that is, five times voting for the winner and six times backing the also-ran – so I need a victory in November to get back to .500. A look back at presidential elections I have known. [Read More]
Clownology 101: Your Resident Folklorist Weighs In
Column
Clownology 101: Your Resident Folklorist Weighs In
59 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
60 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
61 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
62 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
63 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
64 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]
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