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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

LeBron for President
Column
LeBron for President
56 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The knock on California sports fans has always been that they lack passion. I thought about that during the past week while watching the NBA Finals in the San Francisco Bay Area. [Read More]
I Sat So Quietly My Foot Fell Asleep
Column
I Sat So Quietly My Foot Fell Asleep
57 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Jack Kornfield, a sage of American Buddhism, folksily refers to meditation as sitting quietly, which underscores what a sane response it is to the anxiety, busyness and digital addictions that plague us all. Who can argue with setting aside 20 minutes of every day to essentially catch our breath, ca [Read More]
On the Hot Seat at a High School Graduation
Column
On the Hot Seat at a High School Graduation
58 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I know better than to think that people with two or four years of college are smarter than people whose schooling ends at high school. I just have found more like-minded people here than I did there, and the fact that State College is a university town surely accounts for it. [Read More]
Just Can’t Take It Any Mow
Column
Just Can’t Take It Any Mow
59 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This Central Pennsylvania May was too cold, too hot and, as always, perfectly gorgeous, from its tulips to its irises, from the white of its dogwood blossoms to the 50 shades of green of its coniferous and deciduous trees. My one complaint, fellow citizens: the ceaseless roar of power mowers. [Read More]
Great Escape: Bird Flies the Coop
Column
Great Escape: Bird Flies the Coop
60 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
A sparrow slips through a gap in a screen and finds himself in a roach motel situation: Having checked into my porch, he can’t check back out. [Read More]
Quick, Where’s the Anti-Trump Gel?
Column
Quick, Where’s the Anti-Trump Gel?
61 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I surprised even myself this morning by googling the words 'Donald Trump antibacterial gel.' I had not intended to write about Trump today. In fact, one of my closest confidants had specifically advised me not to write about Trump or Sandusky. [Read More]
With Paterno Allegations, Reporting Has Merit
Column
With Paterno Allegations, Reporting Has Merit
62 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It sounds reasonable to say that journalists should only report what they know, for certain, to be true. No evidence means no proof means no truth means no story. But that is not the standard that journalism uses, nor could it be. [Read More]
Making the Grades
Column
Making the Grades
63 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
If I were king of the forest I would streamline Penn State’s grading system thus: Good, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory. That’s it. Three grades. I’d certainly scrap those hairsplitting pluses and minuses. [Read More]
Water You Waiting For?
Column
Water You Waiting For?
64 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The first time I went to Ricketts Glen State Park, I wondered what took me so long. Why hadn’t I heard of it sooner? Why wasn’t it world famous? The park is a waterfall freak’s paradise. It has 22 of them and you can see them all on one 7.2-mile trail loop. [Read More]
This May Be the End for Bernie, But Not for His Message
Column
This May Be the End for Bernie, But Not for His Message
65 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I almost skipped the Bernie Sanders Show in Rec Hall this week. Candidates are notoriously late arrivers and I didn’t relish waiting hours just to hear my fellow Brooklynite tell me the rich are getting richa and the poor are getting poora. I’m glad I went. [Read More]
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