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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

Report from Denver’s Green Mile
Column
Report from Denver’s Green Mile
111 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
112 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
113 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?
114 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
115 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
116 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
117 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]
Try a Little Tenderness
Column
Try a Little Tenderness
118 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m torn about the recent uproars at Claremont-McKenna, at Missouri, at Yale, and elsewhere. At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Spellman and Chodosh. Who among us has not spoken clumsily? Who does not have a blind spot about this or some tone-deafness about that? [Read More]
My Dad, the Celluloid War Hero: A Veterans Day Story
Column
My Dad, the Celluloid War Hero: A Veterans Day Story
119 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I have a watercolor caricature of my father from his World War II days. It doesn’t show him pulling a grenade pin with his teeth or charging up a French San Juan Hill or dogfighting with a Messerschmitt in the skies over Belgium. It shows him hopelessly entangled in celluloid. [Read More]
Oh, the Habits We Can Kick
Column
Oh, the Habits We Can Kick
120 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
To this day I am obnoxiously proud that my teenage rebellion took the form of never having a single puff of a cigarette. I did try other “smoking materials,” though, which kind of blows my holier-than-thou stance right out of the water. [Read More]
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