Profile: Tibor Pechan
In January 1995, Tibor Pechan came to Mississippi State from Slovakia for what was supposed to be a one-year stint as a visiting scientist. Eventually, one year became two, and two became three, until he and his family developed such a fondness for Starkville and America they decided to make their arrangement more permanent.
As an assistant research professor at the Life sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Pechan spends his days exploring the science of proteins in a variety of organisms, from bacteria to human. When not in the lab, however, he finds time to indulge in a variety of passionate pursuits. A lifelong musician, Pechan plays many different instruments, often spending hours with his son in their home-based music studio.
Outside of the home, Pechan is somewhat of an explorer and adventurer. In his 15 years in America, he has driven to or through 43 of the 50 states and hiked in Hawaii, Death Valley, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon, as well as the High Tatra Mountains in his native Slovakia.
"There are some really beautiful places in this country," Pechan said. "If you are willing to spend just a little time driving, you can go from a subtropical paradise to a mountain view in one day."
It was in 1997, however, that he was able to make his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot come true, and in 2002 he began flying with the Civil Air Patrol, where he now serves as a mission and check pilot.
Next week … Ernest Ng !