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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

Greece in the Time of Coronavirus
Column
Greece in the Time of Coronavirus
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The traveler’s pandemic dilemma: Stay put or come home? [Read More]
On the Waterfront, a Mysterious Fate
Column
On the Waterfront, a Mysterious Fate
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My questions were rendered as English text on his screen, sometimes accurately, sometimes not. His Dari answers were delivered by a female voice with an English accent. Some of her translations were baffling. Some were weirdly eloquent. I explained that I was an Αmerican journalist and was curious [Read More]
Hakuna Matata in Thessaloniki
Column
Hakuna Matata in Thessaloniki
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
There are about a dozen wristband hawkers at the 500-year-old White Tower, the busiest spot on Thessaloniki’s waterfront. They’re part of the city’s burgeoning migrant population, people who fled violence or oppression in their homelands and hoped to get permits to work in Greece or elsewhere [Read More]
The Names of the Lost
Column
The Names of the Lost
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
A doctor examined Joseph Salem when he came home from Auschwitz in 1945. He weighed 77 pounds. He was 29 years old. All five of his siblings had been killed. His parents also. Nearly 50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki (also known as Salonica) – the entire Jewish population of the city minus the handful [Read More]
Portraits of Thessalonians: Pilot-Shopkeeper-Patriot
Column
Portraits of Thessalonians: Pilot-Shopkeeper-Patriot
10 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Soon after we got here, while working our way through the neighborhood street market, we noticed in one of the shops a stainless-steel urn labeled “tsipouro” – a Greek brandy closely related to grappa and raki — and decided to get some for home use. That’s how we met Tsipouro Guy. [Read More]
Granddaughter v. Granddad: Who’s Learning Faster?
Column
Granddaughter v. Granddad: Who’s Learning Faster?
12 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
As language learners, my granddaughter and I are on the same level. Penelope, 16 months old, is acquiring English. I’m working on my Greek. [Read More]
Agios Vasilis Is Coming to Town
Column
Agios Vasilis Is Coming to Town
14 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The butcher didn’t have any turkeys so we were going to have boar. Then he didn’t have any boar so we settled for hare. It tasted nothing like rabbit, according to the connoisseurs among us. Gamier, they said, but I don’t find an adjective that describes a thing as itself very illuminating. It [Read More]
The Young Woman Who Lived in a Shoebox
Column
The Young Woman Who Lived in a Shoebox
16 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
The most radiant smile I have seen in Greece belongs to a woman who served me tea and cake in her shipping container house in a refugee camp. [Read More]
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Biopic
Column
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Biopic
18 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Oliver Stone crashed my computer. I’m sure it was him. We had spent the day in Vergina, a northern Greek village that gained international prominence in 1977 when archeologists found the tomb of Philip II, a significant figure in his own right, but best known as the father of Alexander the Great. [Read More]
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