People love to tell the story of an unlikely romance between two people of vastly different economic backgrounds, but rarely do they elaborate to reveal the story of the child who resulted. Political science professor Paul Frank was that child.
It is often easy to assume what someone’s political beliefs will be based on the ideals of their like-minded parents, but Frank grew up in an unusual situation. Raised by a wealthy Jewish father and poor Catholic mother, Frank, now 49, was destined to develop a unique perspective of the world. Shaped by diverse influences, he became a political moderate who is conservative on economic issues, but more liberal on social issues. However, you would never know that by simply taking one of his classes.
Frank brings his unique perspective with him to work four days a week, teaching his students about politics with an unprecedented lack of bias. Capable of seeing things from all points of the political spectrum, Frank encourages his students to pursue knowledge with an open mind, so they can develop their own unique opinions and passions.
Frank discovered his destiny after getting the opportunity to teach a class in grad school. Excited by his experience, and driven by a passion for politics, he ultimately pursued a full-time career as a political science professor.
Frank’s passion for teaching and politics does not go unnoticed by his students.
“I personally like it. He’s really enthusiastic,” says Danny Medrano about Frank’s teaching style.
Prior to teaching, Frank got his first real experience working in politics by interning at the California State Capitol.
Before he even studied political science, he briefly fiddled with the idea of one day becoming a radio host or sports announcer. But by the end of his junior year at Fresno State University, his mind was made up. After getting his bachelor’s degree in political science from Fresno, he went on to get his master’s at Northeastern University in Boston, and then his Ph.D. at Boston University, both in political science.
Now teaching U.S. government and international relations at City College, Frank likes his work — but his favorite part about his career?
“Seeing students feel empowered right before my eyes when they learn how they can get involved politically,” he says.
As an additional perk, he loves that his colleagues are able to satisfy his many curiosities in a wide variety of fields of study. It turns out being a professor is an ideal career for those with curious minds.
As a moderate, he understands both the liberal and conservative perspectives of issues.
“I never even try to remain unbiased,” he says.
The political issues that Frank values most are education, homelessness, and getting young people involved in politics and democracy. Fortunately, he has an ideal career for educating and helping young people get involved in politics.
However, the one thing he says is a “bit of a downer” is seeing students’ educations become disrupted by outside factors, such as finances or homelessness. Unfortunately, there is just nothing that any one man can do to alleviate students of these kinds of burdens and obstacles.
“Volunteer on campaigns, intern for politicians, and use professors as resources,” Frank advises students who are interested in government careers.
Outside of his career, Frank’s favorite activities and hobbies include reading, cooking, sailing, hanging out with his kids, watching sports, playing the ukulele, and traveling. He has been to many different countries including, but not limited to: Italy, China, Costa Rica, Russia, Egypt and Peru.
He used to flip houses as a side job, and he and his wife are currently in the process of buying a small business.
While Frank’s primary passions are teaching and politics, he has a wide variety of talents. Considering her son’s interesting rise to success, Mrs. Frank, 88, must be proud.