Research Groups

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Giona Di Poi

Master Student


After graduating with a federal diploma as a graphic designer, in 2013 I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in “visual communication at the “Scuola Universitaria della Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI, Lugano). Following some experience as a designer, I decided to switch to the field of special education in order to use these skills in a more useful and constructive way. From 2007 until now I have always been engaged in the social field as a professional or volunteer for different Foundations and Associations. Thanks to these experiences I collected a lot of know-how about the development of recreative and educational projects with vulnerable populations (intellectual disability, physical disability, typically developing adolescents at risk and autism spectrum disorderand the way in which I could use my competences in visual communication for helping people with special needs in their daily life.

In 2018 I got my Bachelor’s degree in “curative pedagogy and special education” at the University of Fribourg, with a thesis entitled “Between perception, language and intersubjectivity. Implications of language in Autism Spectrum Disorder”. At the present moment I’m pursuing a Master in “special education at the University of Fribourg, and I’m writing my thesis under the co-direction of Prof. Andrea Samson and Dr. Daniel Dukes. In this research project we are investigating the relationship between people with autism spectrum disorder and positive emotions. In march 2020 I started working as a research and teaching assistant at Swiss Distance Learning University for a course of “Positive Psychology”directed by Prof. Andrea Samson.

In my future studies I would like to focus on autism spectrum disorder, social-semiotic mediation of values and emotions. In particular, I aim at understanding the main differences in the mediation process between infant and caregiver, the role of emotions in this mediation, and the sensitivity of people living with this functioning to new forms of pedagogical intervention.


Swiss Emotion Experience, Regulation and Support Lab (chEERS Lab)