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COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 18, 2005 - If you're a world-class
researcher, you're wanted all over the world.
That pretty much describes Stephen Safe, who holds the rank of
"Distinguished Professor" at Texas A&M University's College of
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and in the Institute of
Biosciences and Technology in the Health Science Center. Talk about
flying the friendly skies, he's your man - he is approaching his 3
millionth mile of travel since coming to the university 24 years
He may be the most traveled faculty member in the school's
A conference in Cairo, a seminar in Seoul, a meeting in
Melbourne - it's all in a day's work for him. Safe has earned his
wings - he crosses time zones the way most people go around the
It's safe to say, so to speak, that this Safe is one very, very
"Most of the travel is enjoyable, but some of it - well, let's
just say I can't wait to get home," Safe says from his veterinary
school office, one of two he maintains in College Station and
Safe has been involved in numerous research projects the past
few years, most of them dealing with cancer research. His work in
toxicology has drawn critical acclaim from researchers all over the
world, and he's recently been investigating the development of new
lines of cancer drugs to combat the dreaded disease.
His work has won him dozens of international awards and is on
such a high level that he's invited to give lectures and seminars
from Bangor to Bangkok. The key word here is invited - all of his
expenses are paid for by the hosting organization inviting him to
speak, which includes health centers, universities, government
agencies and other groups.
But he gives new meaning to the term "safe travel."
While compiling those 3 million travel miles, Safe has consumed
his share of complimentary peanuts while listening to the spiel
about flotation devices. He admits he's learned a few tricks along
the way - he's likely one of the few frequent travelers in the
world who can claim he's never made a trip to the island of lost
"I learned many years ago that it's best to take one bag, and I
always keep it with me," he explains. "So I can proudly say I've
never had to worry about lost luggage."
That doesn't mean he hasn't had some incidents along the
In the early 1990s, he was on a commuter plane that had trouble
with its landing gear in Dallas. The pilot was not able to
determine if the plane's landing gear was locked into place when
the plane touched down.
"They had to cover the landing field with foam and get all of
the emergency trucks out to meet us," Safe recalls. "We had to
assume the crash position with our heads down and all of that, but
come to find out, the landing gear was down. Thankfully, it was not
as close a call as it could have been."
He's been to every major American city many times. And you can
name a foreign city and Safe has been there or close to it. France,
Japan, Mexico, Australia, England, Canada, Holland, Thailand,
Korea, the list goes on and on. Many countries he's visited
multiple times, such as 10 trips to Germany.
"Two places," he says. "One is Cairo and getting to see the
great pyramids. The other is India and the Taj Mahal. I'd like to
see both again - they're fantastic, better than advertised."
Since he travels up to 100,000 miles every year, the frequent
flyer miles do add up. Safe says he often gives the miles to
relatives, friends and others who need them.
One who doesn't care for the extra flying miles is his wife of
40 years, Lorna. When the couple travels together, it's usually
behind a wheel, not at 30,000 feet. She'll take four tires on
"She's not that crazy about flying," Safe laughs. "She prefers
It's a surer way to a safe arrival, you might say.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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