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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

This Column Was Crafted by Skilled Artisans
Column
This Column Was Crafted by Skilled Artisans
73 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I was disappointed to see that despite being “ultra durable,” despite having been “formed and hand-finished by skilled artisans,” and despite being coated with a “scratch-resistant glaze,” my pizza stone was chipped. [Read More]
The Key to Better Health: The Pastrami Cleanse
Column
The Key to Better Health: The Pastrami Cleanse
74 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Having eaten enough spreadable cheese over the holidays to pave a highway from here to Piscataway, I agreed to participate in a cleanse this month, despite the image that came to mind of swallowing a plumber’s snake with a Drano chaser. [Read More]
Steelers-Bengals: Enthralling and Appalling
Column
Steelers-Bengals: Enthralling and Appalling
75 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When you step away and come back, it’s appalling. Multiple players are hurt in every game. The announcers tell us someone is down, then cut to another ad for trucks, beer, fast food, or insurance. Madness. [Read More]
Report from Denver’s Green Mile
Column
Report from Denver’s Green Mile
76 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’ve only smoked a handful of times since those “golden days,” though I firmly believe that weed is less harmful than alcohol, at least in terms of its behavioral effects. I look at it this way: Drunks get into fights and accidents. Stoners get into Oreos and philosophical discussions. [Read More]
In Praise of Sisters
Column
In Praise of Sisters
77 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Here’s to the sisters. While my wife is with her sister this week, my daughters are with each other in cold but dazzlingly bright Denver to celebrate my sisters: Wendy, who is turning 65, and Meryl, who began the year with a cancer diagnosis and ended it with a clean bill of health. [Read More]
There’s No Place Like Skype for the Holidays
Column
There’s No Place Like Skype for the Holidays
78 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When friends inquire about my holiday plans I can tell that my synopsis of all these comings and goings makes them sorry they asked. Except, maybe, the ones who aren’t going anywhere and feel totally vindicated. [Read More]
Where Have You Gone, Bernie Sanders?
Column
Where Have You Gone, Bernie Sanders?
79 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One Bernie fan steered me to a study that found that as of the end of November, the old Big Three of broadcast TV had devoted a combined 234 minutes of their nightly newscasts to Trump since the start of the year. Sanders’ total for the same time period: 10 minutes. [Read More]
Times Square on New Year’s? Pass
Column
Times Square on New Year’s? Pass
80 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Whenever the subject of avoiding “target-rich environments” like Time Square has come up, post-9/11, I can be counted on to wave away the fear by insisting that we cannot hide under the bed. [Read More]
'Spotlight': A Reminder of Why We Still Need the News Media
Column
'Spotlight': A Reminder of Why We Still Need the News Media
81 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The movie “Spotlight,” based on the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of the Catholic Church’s shielding of pedophile priests, has come along at an opportune moment for journalists. Media bashing has always been a popular pastime, but lately the attacks are coming from all sides. [Read More]
Is This a Great Planet or What?: A Thanksgiving Toast
Column
Is This a Great Planet or What?: A Thanksgiving Toast
82 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Friend of mine calls me a nuts-and-berries guy. One of the things that has long worried me, nuts-and-berries guy that I am, is that electronic connectedness disconnects us from our immediate surroundings. [Read More]
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