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Russell Frank

A collection of Russell Frank's columns, titled “Among the Woo People: A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town," is available from the Penn State University Press. His columns for StateCollege.com won first place for commentary in the 2019 Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Chapter Best in Journalism contest. The winning columns: The Women’s March: Notes from New York, It’s Time to Change the Script and Mixed Messages at Bellefonte High. 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. 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

Primates, Pom-Poms and Penn State
Column
Primates, Pom-Poms and Penn State
21 hours ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Scanning the inventory of one of the 19 Little Free Libraries in the State College area during a recent evening stroll, I zoomed in on the title that to my Mad Magazine-marinated brain warranted closer inspection: “The Cheese Monkeys.” [Read More]
Climate Crisis? What Climate Crisis?
Column
Climate Crisis? What Climate Crisis?
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The news media’s fixation on the words and deeds of the person in the White House means that if the president is silent about the most pressing issues of our time, the journos fall silent as well. [Read More]
Ask Me If I’m Sore
Column
Ask Me If I’m Sore
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The boy stood on the opposite bank from his grandfather, who had just crossed the creek on a bridge of rocks. “Grandpa,” he said, “I don’t think this is a good idea.” That kid, maybe 6 years old, was way smarter than I had been the day before. [Read More]
Meet Marty, My Toughest Interview
Column
Meet Marty, My Toughest Interview
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
It took me a while to coax speech out of Marty when I tried to interview her on Tuesday morning. At first I thought she was being a hyper-diligent employee, entirely focused on patrolling the aisles for spills, refusing to be distracted by a nosy reporter. [Read More]
To Smoosh or Not to Smoosh
Column
To Smoosh or Not to Smoosh
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
‘Tis green season, tra-la, tra-la, which means that it is also bug season, the time when our tolerance of the littlest among us is put to the test. [Read More]
For Once, They’ve Nabbed the Robbers with the Fountain Pens
Column
For Once, They’ve Nabbed the Robbers with the Fountain Pens
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Let’s get intertextual. Matt Taibbi’s “I Can’t Breathe,” meet Caitlin Flanagan’s “They Had It Coming.” Taibbi, Flanagan, meet Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd.” [Read More]
Too Many Candlelight Vigils
Column
Too Many Candlelight Vigils
12 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m sick of candlelight vigils. OK, I’m not really sick of the vigils themselves. I’m sick of the need for vigils, which is to say, I’m sick of gun violence and I’m sick of a response to gun violence that never goes beyond candlelight vigils. [Read More]
In Defense of Babies
Column
In Defense of Babies
14 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
When we’re not contemplating our own demise, or the end of civilization, there’s joy, and what is a baby, if not, according to the idiom, a bundle of joy? [Read More]
Postcard from Puerto Rico
Column
Postcard from Puerto Rico
16 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
We were sandwiched between la reina and the flag dancers. As floats go, ours wasn’t much to look at – a police golf cart driven by an officer with braided hair and aviator sunglasses – but hey, when you’re on a float at the annual coffee festival in Yauco, Puerto Rico, you’ve got to enjoy [Read More]
Welcome to the 21st Century, Old-Timer
Column
Welcome to the 21st Century, Old-Timer
18 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I’m having a Rip Van Winkle moment. This winter, while not abandoning my campus observation post, I am once again participating, in a small way, in the practice of daily journalism and gaining a deeper appreciation of how much the industry has changed. [Read More]
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