Residential Clinical Staff

Jason Schwartz, LMSW, ACSW – Clinical Director – Jason has been with Dawn Farm since 1994 and has served as the Clinical Director since 1999. Jason is also an adjunct faculty at Eastern Michigan University’s School of Social Work. Service activities include:

  • Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work, advisory board member
  • Eastern Michigan University School of Leadership and Counseling, advisory board member
  • National Association of Social Work – Michigan Chapter, Legislative and Social Policy Committee
  • The Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Mental Health Standards Committee member
  • Livonia Save Our Youth Coalition, board member
  • Michigan Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, board member

Jason blogs at and has been published in Addiction Professional magazine and in an Addiction Technology Transfer Center monograph.

Farm Facility

Julie Boster, LMSW, CAADC – Program Coordinator – Julie was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She received a Bachelors of Social Work from The Ohio State University in 2000 as well as a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2002. Julie is a fully licensed Social Worker and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  Julie has been with Dawn Farm since 2004 and has held several roles within the agency. Julie helped develop our Daybreak Program where she worked as a therapist providing substance abuse treatment to adolescents and their families. In our adult residential treatment program, Julie has worked as a Primary Therapist, Clinical Team Leader and now the Program Coordinator. In addition to providing direct care to clients, Julie supervises the Clinical Team, Support Staff and the evening/weekend Resident Aides. Julie is married and lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her wife, two daughters and two dogs.  In her free time, Julie enjoys spending time in nature, being active with her family, reading non-fiction, traveling, volunteering and learning from others.

Kara Bunton, LMSW, CAADC –  Primary Therapist – Born and raised in Washtenaw County, Kara received her B.A. in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 2007. She received a Master of Social Work Degree from EMU in 2010. Prior to entering the field of mental health and substance abuse, she worked in housing/homeless services at both SOS Community Services and Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House in both clinical and volunteer capacities. After receiving her master’s degree, she was an outpatient mental health therapist and evidence-based DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) therapist at Recovery Technology, LLC in Jackson, a provider of Community Mental Health services. Kara has been a therapist at Dawn Farm since 2013. She loves working with clients to help them reach their goals and build healthy lives in recovery! In addition to her work with clients, Kara regularly gives presentations to community groups and has served on the committee responsible for implementing DBT at Dawn Farm. Kara’s focus is on treating clients with dually diagnosed mental health and substance use disorders and trauma histories. When she’s not at work you can find Kara spending time with her family and friends, participating in a book club, visiting Lake Michigan, and learning how to cook.

Edward McSwain, CADCPrimary Therapist – Ed has been with Dawn Farm since 1994 and has been a Residential Therapist since 1999. Ed has been a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2001. Ed also co-facilitates the Dawn Farm Family Educational Program.

Stacey Anderson, LMSW – Primary Therapist – Stacey joined Dawn Farm in 2012 as a resident aid while working toward her Bachelors of Social Work at Eastern Michigan University with a minor in Psychology. After completing her BSW 2013, she enrolled in Wayne State University’s Master of Social Work program, which she completed in 2014. She was made a residential counselor in 2015. Stacey’s other social work experience is in the Juvenile Justice field.

Bill Nurmi, LLMSW, CAADC – Primary Therapist – Born and raised in Jackson, Michigan, Bill received his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, and his MSW from Wayne State University. Bill began his career with Dawn farm at Spera Recovery Center, where he did DBT and recovery groups; he then went on to be an outpatient therapist at Dawn Farm Outpatient before joining the clinical team at Dawn Farm Residential Treatment. Bill has spent time researching eating disorders and keeping up with recent developments in the treatment of eating disorders, as well as Gestalt or “2 chair/empty chair” therapy. In his free time Bill enjoys to travel, spend time with his family, and cycling.

Rachel TuttlePrimary Therapist 

Dawn Farm Downtown

Cassandra James, MA, LLPC, CAADC – Program Coordinator –Cassandra has been with Dawn Farm since 2002 and has held several roles as Residential Counselor, Clinical Team Leader and currently is now the Program Coordinator for Dawn Farm Downtown. She has received a Masters of Counseling from Webster University. She is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor and Limited License Professional Counselor. She started out in the addiction field through her field placement at the Salvation Army (S.A.U.L.) program in South Carolina. Upon relocating to Michigan she has continued in this field and loves being a part of an agency that is transforming lives for the better. She is married and lives in Ypsilanti with her husband and 2 children.

Ashley Lyon, MA, LPC, ATR, CAADCPrimary Therapist – Ashley joined Dawn Farm’s Downtown residential treatment center in October of 2016 as a primary therapist. Before her time at the Farm, Ashley spent nearly 5 years creating and running art therapy programs — first at Lincoln Behavioral Services, then at Meridian Health Services. In addition to her art therapy roles, Ashley gained experience with case management, individual therapy, special groups therapy, and Seeking Safety. Ashley enjoys Dawn Farm’s strong sense of community. She loves working with addicts because her clients have a genuine willingness to change and grow. When not at work, you can find her outside with her two cats gardening, drawing, or reading. Ashley has a BFA from Wayne State as well as an MA in Counseling and Art Therapy from Wayne State.

Emily Hagen, LLMSW, Primary Therapist – Emily joined Dawn Farm in 2016 as an intern and became a primary therapist in January of 2017 at Dawn Farm Downtown. Prior to joining the Dawn Farm family, Emily completed her undergraduate degrees at Central Michigan University where she majored in Philosophy and Women’s Studies, and then went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at Eastern Michigan University. In addition to being a primary therapist, Emily is the coordinator for Dawn Farm’s Education Series. Her previous work was in the area of domestic violence and sexual assault where she provided court advocacy, and counseling to survivors. Emily loves Dawn Farm’s culture of creativity and positive energy. In her free time, Emily loves biking, cooking, and traveling! 

A Southern Lady Finds Hope


How Dawn Farm Has Helped

Not just the lives of our clients–but also their loved ones, neighbors, friends, employers, co-workers and many others. The greatest benefit to involvement with Dawn Farm is the privilege of participating in and witnessing these transformations.

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