Hello, World.

I'm Dane Acena.

More About Me

Let me introduce myself.

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Technology professional passionate in designing and developing efficient and usable software and researching user experiences in technology. I am passionate about software and companies that focus on their social and world impacts --doing good.


More of my credentials.

Education, Professional, Research, and Service


M.S. in Computer Science

Aug 2018 - Dec 2020

Clemson University

  • GPA: 4.0/4.0
  • Courseworks in Human-ComputerInteraction, Quantitative and QualitativeData Analysis, Applied Psychology, and UserExperience Research

B.S. in Computer Science

Aug 2014 - May 2018

Benedict College

  • GPA: 3.9/4.0
  • School of Honors
  • Trustee Scholar
  • Repeated President's list and Dean's List recognition

Research Experience

Clemson University

August 2020 - ongoing

Social Virtual Reality and LGBTQ+

  • Exploring LGBTQ+ users' experiences and challenges in social virtual reality to design more inclusive, affirming, and safe social VR platforms
  • Conducting in-depth interviews among LGBTQ+ social VR users to explore their complicated experiences of personal exploration, identity practices, and experimentation in social VR

Autonomous Vehicle Virtual Prototyping

  • Utilizing Unreal Engine 4 to support the modeling, optimization, validation and verification of autonomy-enabled vehicles
  • Collaborating with multiple researchers to discover requirements needed for virtual prototyping using NLP
  • Funded through the U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center

Clemson University

August 2018 - August 2020

Virtual Reality Training Simulation

Virtual Environments Group
  • Developed an immersive virtual reality training simulation using Unreal Engine 4 while working with a group of researchers
  • Partnered with a designer to create an immersive, intuitive, and beautiful user experience
  • Using multiple user study methods such as focus group, participatory design, and think loud to involve clients in the design and development cycle
  • Funded by KEMET Electronics Corporation

University of South Carolina

May 2016 - May 2018

BreatheEasier: Adavancing Quality Lung Cancer Survivorship

South Carolina - Advancing Diversity in Aging Research
  • Worked with computer science, public health, medical practitioners and nursing researchers
  • Collaborated on a Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery intervention for older adult lung cancer patients to improve quality of life.
  • Created low- and high-fidelity prototypes using paper prototyping, Adobe XD, and Android Studio
  • Evaluated usability and user experience through collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data from participants
  • Presented findings to various stakeholders at the end of the project
  • Funded by the National Institute of Health and Bristol-Myers Squibb

Assistive Exercise Robot Instructor

South Carolina - Advancing Diversity in Aging Research
  • Operated in a multidisciplinary approach in computer science, public health, social work, and exercise science
  • Developed an activity for Aldebaran NAO robot developed in Python using Chroreographe
  • Conducted and transcribed subject matter expert interviews; conducted in-depth qualitative analysis of interview data; and reported results
  • Presented findings to various stakeholders at the end of the project
  • Presented at the International Conference in Robot Ethics and Safety Standards, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Funded by the National Institute of Health

Professional Experience

Software Engineering Professionals

May 2021 - Aug 2021

UI/UX Design Intern

  • Responsible for research, user flow, ideation, wireframing, process flows, sitemaps, high and low fidelity prototypes using software like Figma, and AdobeXD
  • Participated in identifying and communicating high priority questions and opportunities through research to lead the team towards strategic opportunities and tactical improvements
  • Participated in cross-functional, Agile/Scrum development team across different time zones to communicate creating and designing interaction to develop and design solutions for a Fortune 500 company's product
  • Provided direction and designs from inception to delivery and worked closely with developers, designers, and product managers
  • Defined mobile application accessibility (ADA Compliance) improvement needs using Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Created design artifacts such as interactive prototypes using various design tools and software such as Figma to define interaction models, user flows, and wireframes
  • Gathered feature requirements to generate and test product concepts
  • Conduct usability tests to gather accurate and actionable insights using UserTesting.com

Software Engineering Professionals

May 2020 - Aug 2020

Software Engineer Intern

  • Applied human-centered approach with other engineers, designers, and project managers to formulate a solution to challenges that users of Bluetooth LE technology encounter for a Fortune 500 client's medical-based IoT device using Agile methods and remote mob programming
  • Completed partial SDLC for an iOS app using Swift and Android app using Java, Kotlin, and Android studio, including design requirements, implementation of frameworks, and documenting specifications
  • Delivered compelling stories to communicate actionable insights for team and stakeholders
  • Created automated unit and UI testing to ensure all codes meet quality standards before deploying


Summer 2020


  • Internship offer accepted. Rescinded due to COVID-19

KEMET Corporation

August 2018 - Summer 2020

VR Training Simulation Developer

  • Developed and designed an virtual reality training simulation for manufacturing company using Unreal Engine 4 and AutoDesk Maya, resulting in a solution that is a potential enhancement over the old process
  • Collaborated with a group of researchers and a designer to create an intuitive and beautiful user experience that is instructive, immersive, and enjoyable
  • Communicated consistently with the clients in order to gain feedback on the design and experience

Application Developer

August 2017 - May 2018

University of Georgia

  • Programmed a healthcare-focused mobile application for a novel healthcare intervention with a team of clinicians and public healthresearchers using Android Studio, providing an easier access to information for clients compared to the old method
  • Documented the development process and software requirement specification

IT Support and Media Relations Intern

August 2016 - May 2017

Columbia International Festival

  • Created, maintained, and delivered event promotion via websites and social networking sites.
  • Assisted 20 staff members with computer hardware and software application.
  • Documented instructions, solutions, and process to assist team members.
  • Increased productivity by introducing software solutions such as Salesforce and TSheets.
  • Managed a 10,000-person database by updating profile, recording engagement and donor entries, and compiling reports.


ACM Interactive Media Experiences

In press

American Journal of Health Promotion

May 2020

A Focus Group Evaluation of Breathe Easier: A Mindfulness-based mHealth App for Survivors of Lung Cancer and Their Family Members

Jenay M. Beer, Kasey N. Smith, Taylor Kennedy, George Mois, Dane Acena, David G. Gallerani, Karen Kane McDonnell, Otis L. Owens

Journal of Clinical Oncology

May 2019

Empowering lung cancer survivors and family members to “breathe easier”: Adaptation and evaluation of a m-health intervention.

Karen Kane McDonnell, Otis L Owens, Jenay M Beer, Kasey Smith, Taylor Kennedy, Dane Acena, David Gallerani


APHA’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo

November 2018

Development and Evaluation of BreatheEasier MHealth App for Survivors of Lung Cancer and Their Caregivers

State of Public Health Conference

Oct 2018 - Athens,GA

Focus Group Evaluation and Design Recommendations for BreatheEasier: A Mindfulness Mobile App for Lung Cancer Survivors and Caregivers


Oct 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal

Assistive Exercise Robot Instructor

University of South Carolina Symposium

Jul 2017 - Columbia, SC

BreatheEasier: Advancing Quality Lung Cancer Survivorship


IBM Blue|Hack

October 2017


Worked with 4 other participants to create an AI-powered healthcare-focused conversational chatbot, using IBM Watson that wasavailable to slack users encouraging them to stay healthy and active

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

May 2017


Hackathon hosted by Thurgood Marshall College Fund with Apple and John Deere. Created an iOS application that enhances the communication between public transportation operators and commuters and won 2nd place.

Mentoring & Service

Clemson University: Graduate Student Government

August 2020 - present

Director of Activities and Outreach

Coordinated socially and culturally relevant events for the graduate student body while managing over $15k in funding.

Clemson University

August 2018 - May 2019

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Assisted professors with classroom instructions, exams, record keeping, project evaluations and assisting about 100 undergraduate students individually or in small groups



Student Volunteer - Photography



Cyber Saturday Program Instructor

Facilitated and led 1-hour weekly sessions with 15 school-aged students that focused on STEM through robotics and modular electronics

Benedict College


Google CS-First

Taught weekly basic game development to 5 middle school-aged students through a block-based visual programming language


CompTIA IT Fundamentals

August 2017



Check Out Some of My Works.

I have done projects in several aspects such as programming, Machine Learning, Android App Development, iOS App Development, prototyping, Virtual Reality, 3D Modeling and Simulation and more!


I'd Love To Hear From You!