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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

(Seemingly) Good News: It’s Illegal to Carry a Loaded Gun on Campus
Column
(Seemingly) Good News: It’s Illegal to Carry a Loaded Gun on Campus
98 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As humorist Andy Borowitz points out, “a vast majority of Americans, in fact, do not want to be shot.” All we are asking, we Americans who do not want to be shot, is that our laws make guns harder to get. Most criminals are only going to commit a crime if you make it easy for them. [Read More]
News That Stays News
Column
News That Stays News
99 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I am often asked, as a professor of journalism, where I get my news. As much as I hammer away at the importance of being well informed, I also think it’s possible to consume too much journalism. [Read More]
Bank Those Competitive Fires
Column
Bank Those Competitive Fires
100 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
“For many Americans,” writer Anne-Marie Slaughter begins, “life has become all competition all the time... The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society.” [Read More]
We Could Be on Lesbos
Column
We Could Be on Lesbos
101 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
How many columns have I written about petty nuisances? A dead battery in the car. A live bat in the house. A flooded basement. A delayed flight. Of course, privilege is largely a matter of luck, and we’re only lucky until we’re unlucky. [Read More]
Farewell to the Summer of Schump
Column
Farewell to the Summer of Schump
102 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
This has been the summer of Amy Schumer and Donald Trump – the Summer of Schump, you might say. Schumer and Trump have something in common, apart from being tall and blond. Or rather, the responses to them have something in common, namely, a delight in naughtiness. [Read More]
Don't Be Rattled
Column
Don't Be Rattled
103 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Not to alarm you would-be woods walkers, but there are rattlesnakes out there. We met one the other day, all curled up along the John Wert Trail, which follows tea-colored Sinking Creek away from Bear Meadows, deep in the Rothrock State Forest. [Read More]
Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
Column
Too Cool for School? Don’t Be Fooled
104 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As a parent I’m quite sure that my children learned more from my everyday comportment in the face of life’s challenges and absurdities than they did from any overt lessons I tried to articulate. The same may be true of my students. [Read More]
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
Column
In Search of the Cure for the Summertime Blues
105 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I vented my disenchantment with the current month to a friend, who had a ready explanation. “August,” he said, “is like one long Sunday night.” A young friend in New York considered this formulation, and elaborated on it: “June is Friday,” she said, “July is Saturday and August is Sund [Read More]
Just Hop on the Bus, Russ
Column
Just Hop on the Bus, Russ
106 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When Megabus rolled into State College five years ago, one heard thrilling tales of passengers who bought tickets for a dollar. Financial genius that I am, I encouraged my city-dwelling daughter to look at the calendar and snag tickets for any weekend when she might want to come home. [Read More]
Today’s Breakfast Special: Scam and Eggs
Column
Today’s Breakfast Special: Scam and Eggs
107 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My son, she informed me, had been in a dune buggy accident in the Dominican Republic. Specifically, he had hit a couple of pedestrians while driving the dune buggy, fled the scene of the accident and was now in jail. Two thousand dollars would get him out by the weekend. [Read More]
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