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Peni Acayo holds a BA in art from Goshen College, and received her MFA in visual communication design from Kent State University. Her MFA thesis, "Design Education for Ugandan Secondary Schools," investigated the development of a secondary-level design curriculum that was inspired by the paucity of design education, despite the increasing number of jobs and growth in the Ugandan design industry. Currently, Peni works as research associate in visual communication design at the University of Notre Dame where she continues to focus on projects that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems.
While at Kent State University, Peni and Andy Schwanbeck worked together as part of a team that produced an award-winning project using simplified iconography to communicate ailments associated with the spread, prevention, and treatment of malaria in Kibera, Kenya. This work has received multiple awards, including runner-up in Metropolis Magazine's Next Generation Design Competition and notable honoree status after placing in the top six in Core77's Design Awards.