About

Our therapists pride themselves on being up-to-date on innovative speech, language and dysphagia techniques and materials.

We are present with our clients and provide a caring, nurturing environment in which to learn. Our therapists believe in treating the “whole” person, focusing on ALL the areas requisite to effective communication. We encourage involvement of caregivers in the therapeutic setting as well as providing carryover of techniques within the home environment. We strive to work very closely with providers of other modalities and patient’s doctor’s to achieve continuity of care for our patients and caregivers.

Our Team

Dawn Hansen, MA, CCC-SLP, RPP, CMP, CHT

Owner/Founder of LEARN Speech Therapy
Speech Language Pathologist
Head Clinical Supervisor

Dawn has been practicing Speech Pathology since 1983 and founded her private practice LEARN Speech Therapy in 1987 because of her heartfelt desire to change her little corner of the world. She has a deeply held conviction that speech therapy helps to improve a person’s ability to communicate and think, making their lives more functional and thus making the world a better place. by changing lives for the better.
LEARN is a family run business and both of her children are instrumental in handling the logistics required to maintain a well run company.

LEARN grew from a small private practice with two ST’s to a thriving practice in the heart of Gilroy. Dawn is bilingual proficient in English and Spanish and has extensive experience in the medical field including: dysphagia, CVA, TBI, neurological defictis (Parkinson’s, MS, ALS) and Pediatrics earlier in her career. Currently, her primary role is in administration, supervision and consultation with her staff. Dawn is also skilled in several of the healing arts: craniosacral therapy, polarity, acupressure, mindfulness meditation and sound/vibrational healing. Her belief in treating the whole person forms the foundation of the guiding principles of the company.
In her personal time, Dawn enjoys reading, learning new things, spending time with family, tennis, yoga, walking with her dogs, Kahuna and Gracie, and trips to Hawaii.

Erica Curiel, BS, SLPA

Speech Language Pathologist Assistant, Lead

Erica, our lead SLPA since 2014, provides invaluable knowledge and mentorship to the LEARN team. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. She is certified in ABA and has acquired skills in American Sign Language. Erica received her Bachelor of Science degree at Sacramento State University, followed by her SLPA license in 2012 and provided early intervention prior to joining the LEARN team. Erica has a vast array of experience that includes adults with brain injuries, children with mild to severe speech and language delays, autism, cerebral palsy, and disorders resulting from emotional stress. She provides therapy to our Spanish speaking patients in our brain injury setting and has worked in our acute hospital setting assisting SLP’s during evaluations of non-English speaking patients. Her special interests are working with infants/toddlers in early intervention, children with autism and adults. In her free time Erica loves to workout, travel and spend time with her family.

Christopher Loll, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist/Lead Clinical Supervisor

Chris has worked as a speech language pathologist since 2012, with experience in a wide variety of settings, including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, brain injury rehabilitation facilities, private practice for adults and pediatrics, home health, and in public schools.  He currently works as a supervisor at LEARN.  Chris enjoys music, humor, learning, playing with his dog Oliver, and the occasional video game.  Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz (2006), a Master of Arts in Education (Speech Pathology) from San Jose State (2012), and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Laurie Coleman, MS, SLP

Speech Language Pathologist/Clinical Mentor

Laurie, a retired special education teacher for over 30 years, went back to school to get her Speech Language Pathology degree over 15 years ago.  She loves working with kids and has worked with clients of all ages from children under the age of 2 to over the age of 90.  She has worked with LEARN for over 15 years and loves the family feeling here.  She is a very proud mother and grandmother. Her grandson has Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and she has done extensive training in apraxia to assist with his needs. As an adjunct to her clinical skills, she is training to become a Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) to incorporate ABA therapy into her sessions. Laurie loves to swim, and quilt and has a special love for the ocean and whales.

Phillip Villarreal, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Phillip Villarreal is a licensed speech-language pathologist. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Conceptual/Information Arts and Japanese from San Francisco State University in January 2010. After a ten-year career as a special education paraprofessional, he returned to school at San Jose State University to complete his Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology, which he completed in May 2019.  Phillip has special experience in the areas of childhood language development, autism, social communication, school-based issues, special education, language, literacy, and traumatic brain injury. As an adjunct to his clinical skills, he is training to become a Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) and a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist to incorporate those modalities into his sessions. In addition to working with children, adolescents, and adults with language and cognition needs, he intends to return to school and complete doctoral studies in communication sciences and disorders or in a related field. In his off time, Phillip enjoys writing, singing, and playing music on his bass guitar and Moog synthesizer. He is a self-described nerd.

Ashley Rodriguez Tomasetti, BA, SLP-A

Speech Language Pathologist Aide

Ashley’s experience includes serving children with mild to severe speech delays, Autism, Down Syndrome, Soto Syndrome, major and minor motor impairments, among others. She has experience working with children ages 0-12, and her special interests are working with toddlers in early intervention as well as school age children with Autism and Down Syndrome. As an adjunct to her clinical skills, she is training to become a Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) to incorporate the principles within her therapy sessions. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Communication Disorders so she can further her abilities to aid children and adults of all ages. In her free time, Ashley enjoys working out, soaking up the sun at the beach, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Kathleen Welsh, MA, SLP

Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow

Kathleen received a bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007. She then worked at various jobs in the community. After her father suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to speak, she decided to become an SLP. She received a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from San Jose State University, CA in 2019. Kathleen is fluent in English and Spanish and has experience working with all ages via Home Health, elementary schools, clinics, hospitals, Tele-therapy, and long term care facilities and specializes in assessment/therapy for speech, language, swallowing, voice, fluency, pragmatics, cognition, etc. As an adjunct to her clinical skills, she is training to become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) to incorporate CBT therapy within her sessions. She enjoys working with adults who have dementia, dysphagia, dysarthria, aphasia, and hearing loss. Kathleen enjoys swimming, singing, playing board games, and her favorite color is purple.

Jennifer Pokojny, BA, SLP-A

Speech Language Pathologist Aide

Jennifer loves exercising her creativity within speech sessions and making the ‘“work” as fun and engaging as possible! She loves customizing activities according to the individual’s interests and always incorporates her background in ABA behavior principles. She has the most fun teaching preschool age social-emotional skills and play-based teaching. In her free time, she enjoys experimental cooking, yoga and eating new foods when traveling.

Victoria Garcia, BA, SLPA

Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

Victoria received her Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders & Sciences from San Jose State University and obtained her certificate to practice as a Speech- Language Pathologist Assistant from California State University, Northridge. She has experience working with pediatric clients up to school aged clients. Victoria has a special interest in working with the ASD population, early intervention, and late talking toddlers with speech delays.  She is trained in behavioral therapy (ABA) and worked as a registered behavior technician (RBT) where she conducted treatment plans in a 1:1 setting, a school setting, and within the home. Prior to her employment, Victoria spent time volunteering at a specialized school for children and adults with ASD as well as Social Thinking- Stevens Creek where she was exposed to a wide range of disorders. In her free, time Victoria loves going to the beach, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family.

Christina Hamilton, MS, SLP

Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow

Christina received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, then attended San Jose State University where she received a teaching credential in secondary education. While teaching middle school Language Arts, she discovered her passion for cognitive-communication disorders and attended Cal State University East Bay (CSUEB) where she received a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. While at CSUEB, she volunteered with the Aphasia Treatment Program’s “Aphasia Tones” choir where she utilized her love of singing and communication to support group members with Aphasia. As an adjunct to her clinical skills, she is training to become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) to incorporate CBT therapy within her sessions. Christina has experience working with both adult and pediatric clients in private clinic, rehabilitation, hospital, and school district settings. Her favorite part of being a speech therapist is witnessing the growth and empowerment of her clients as they gain cognitive and communication skills. In her free time, Christina enjoys exploring new places, playing with her cats, and spending time with family.

Wendi Hansen, BA, CMP, RPP, CHT

Director of Operations

With LEARN since 2001, Wendi oversees the general operation of the Outpatient Clinic and handles Accounts Receivable, Insurance Billing, Contract Negotiation and Human Resources for LEARN. Her primary focus is to create a welcoming, professional and joyful environment for our staff and patients. She is strongly influenced by her love for Hawaiian culture and her background in positive reinforcement training with marine mammals and dogs. In her free time, Wendi enjoys spending time with her fiancé, Tim, their dog, Maddie, and their loved ones. She has a love for the ocean and is passionate about the care of animals.

Christopher Hansen

Facilities Manager

With LEARN since 2014, Christopher manages the many needs of the facility which vary widely from “Chris can you build this for me?” to literally remodeling the clinic for therapy.  The photographs that grace the walls are his and his green thumb keeps our plants thriving. His skills are far reaching and his friendly demeanor and warm smile are often sought after by the patients big and small. His contributions to the business are essential and LEARN would not be functioning without him.  In his free time, Christopher enjoys spending time with his boys, Jack and Ryder, photography, leading his troop through growth and adventure as Cub Scout Master, and camping and fishing with his son, Ryder and their dog, Suki.

Natalie Alejandrez

Office Manager

Natalie manages the Patient Accounts, Insurance Verification & Authorizations and Therapist Documentation for LEARN. Since 2014, her role as office manager has enabled her to not only greet both our English and Spanish speaking patients with her outgoing and friendly demeanor, but to ensure that their services at LEARN are exemplary with her attention to detail and pride in her work.  She is an invaluable member of our LEARN family and her infectious joy and happiness, paired with her unmatched ability to multi-task keep the clinic not only a joyful place to be, but a well-oiled machine. In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her husband, two boys, and little girl, Anthony, Nathaniel, and Aaliyah, and reading (when she isn’t running around after her little one!).

Sign up for our Newsletter

(We do not share your data with anybody, and only use it for its intended purpose)