Stacy arrived at Clemson after having graduated from the University of Iowa. Having had a long-term interest in cars, transportation, and in the science of visual perception, Stacy joined Rick Tyrrell’s lab to study how well drivers see at night and how their night vision affects their ability to drive safely. Among Stacy’s research accomplishments is become a leading expert in drivers’ abilities to see pedestrians at night and how best to make pedestrians conspicuous at night.
Stacy has been a productive researcher, having presented her research at meetings including Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, Transportation Research Board, American Psychological Association, and Vision Sciences Society and having published her research in leading journals. Along the way, Stacy developed into a self-described “stats geek” and she taught statistics and research methods to Clemson students. An unusually gifted Instructor, in 2009 Stacy was awarded both the Graduate Teaching Excellence Award (College of BBS) and the Board of Visitors Graduate Teaching Award (University-level). She was also named the Department’s Outstanding Ph.D. Student in 2008. Upon finishing her Ph.D. in 2010, Dr. Balk accepted a position as a Research Psychologist at SAIC.
Stacy has joined a team of accomplished researchers at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC). TFHRC is a prestigious federal research facility in McLean, Virginia that provides the Federal Highway Administration with advanced R&D related to new highway technologies. We wish Dr. Balk the best and expect great things.
Stacy’s master’s thesis: “Nighttime pedestrian conspicuity: The effects of pedestrian movement, orientation and the configuration of retroreflective material”
Stacy’s dissertation: “The Accuracy of Observers’ Estimates of the Effect of Glare on Nighttime Vision: Do We Exaggerate the Disabling Effects of Glare?”
One of Stacy’s favorite memories of being a graduate student: After APA’s Division 21 meeting Lee Gugerty graciously took Rick Tyrrell and myself out to dinner in San Francisco. On our way back to the hotel, we decided to stop at the rooftop bar in the Hilton to enjoy the highest view of the city; a bar that we had discovered at the previous year’s HFES annual meeting. In this particular establishment, there was a set of stairs that led to the roof. The entrance to the roof (located near the men’s restroom), however, had been locked during our previous visit. After chatting for a bit, Rick excused himself, and upon his return he informed us that the door to the rooftop stairs was open. We quickly closed our tab and stealthily headed up to the rooftop. The sight was absolutely amazing! Of course we only enjoyed it for about 30 seconds, because as I was taking a picture of Rick and Lee leaning over the edge of the building Titanic-style, I was tapped on the shoulder by security and we were politely escorted back down the stairs.
One of Stacy’s favorite memories of Clemson: That is a tough one…Tony the Dance Machine appearances, Buck Hunter Tourney, Walking through Sonic drive-thru, Wii discussion groups, reading student evaluations, listening to Moss and Blake argue, year-end parties…
Stacy’s advice to new graduate students:
- Make checklists. I find that it really helps to make checklists with small items on it for yourself each week (e.g., download IRB forms, revise consent forms, ask Teresa about pay roll, write 2 paragraphs of introduction). This way you keep on top of the things that you need to get done AND the more ‘small’ things you put on there, the more you feel like you’ve done! It helps to minimize that persistent feeling of “I have so much to do”/just being overwhelmed.
- Make rules for yourself. I made rules to help me maintain my sanity. For example, no working on Fridays after 4 or on Saturdays. I also made sure to do at least 1 fun thing during the week — usually a weekly social event after night class.
- I also think that it is important to remember that grad school isn’t a competition or a race. It doesn’t matter who gets done first or who gets the highest grade – the point is to do quality work (that you are proud of) and to remember what you learn for your whole career (not just for an exam).
- If you have a question, or are unsure of something, ask! Some questions may seem really silly, but chances are, another grad student probably has the answer. Asking for help can save you a lot of time!
- Use your tigerstripe account = there is no tax on campus with your card!
- Don’t be afraid to take out student loans. The loans really help you to be able to travel and go to conferences. This is a VITAL part of our learning experience! I definitely don’t regret going to any conferences, but I certainly wish I would have gone to more.
- At conferences/meetings/etc. remember that you not only represent yourself, you are representing Clemson, and the field as a whole. As you will quickly learn, the HF community is a small world and there is a high likelihood the people you run into know someone that you know. Leave a good impression (or at least not a bad one) for those people who come after you.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. I got an internship after a 40 second conversation in an elevator at HFES.
- Laugh a little and ditch the stress! It is silly to stress about things that you have no control over.
To see more profiles of graduates, click here.
Similar Posts (auto-generated):
- Stacy Balk: The accuracy of observers’ estimates of the effect of glare on nighttime vision…, December 1, 2009
- Stacy Balk wins HFES Alphonse Chapanis Best Student Paper, September 21, 2011
- HFDG: Stacy Balk, March 24, 2013
- Stacy A. Balk: The Accuracy of Observers’ Estimates of the Effect of Glare on Nighttime Vision…, April 8, 2010