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Safe Travel

Posted August 18, 2005

Safe Travel

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 ago.

He may be the most traveled faculty member in the school's 129-year history.

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 block.

It's safe to say, so to speak, that this Safe is one very, very frequent traveler.

"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 Houston.

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 luggage.

"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 way.

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.

His favorite?

"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 asphalt.

"She's not that crazy about flying," Safe laughs. "She prefers car trips."

It's a surer way to a safe arrival, you might say.

Contact Information:
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718

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