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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

Farewell to the Summer of Schump
Column
Farewell to the Summer of Schump
94 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
95 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
96 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
97 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
98 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
99 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]
Greetings from 'Alabama'
Column
Greetings from 'Alabama'
100 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I came away thinking that I live in a strange land. State College is no hotbed of liberalism, but it is surely an exception to Clinton crony James Carville's famous formulation that "Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Alabama in the middle." [Read More]
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
Column
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
101 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
"Penn State uniforms have long been described as 'vanilla,'" said Creamery manager Tom Palchak, "but in light of the proposed uniform changes we think even vanilla might be too intense. An ice cream that truly reflected the spirit of our football program would have no taste whatsoever." [Read More]
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
Column
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
102 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Just the other day she held up a tangle of thin wires she found in the shed. "What are these?" she asked. "Old guitar strings," I said. "I thought they might be useful for something." She couldn't imagine what they could be useful for. Truth be told, neither could I. [Read More]
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
Column
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
103 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Having sat idle for several weeks, our car was deader than downtown State College between Arts Fest and move-in weekend. Then there was the pile of unpaid bills, the mirror that had leaped off the bathroom wall as if it had lost all sense of purpose without anyone gazing into it. [Read More]
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