Center for Education in Mass Violence and Suicide

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, Ph.D.

Lisa Pescara Kovach

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach is a professor of educational psychology and serves as Director of the Center for Education in Mass Violence and Suicide. She is also on the advisory board of the International Association of Care and Threat Teams (InterACTT) where she is a content specialist on domestic terrorism, school and workplace shootings, behavioral threat assessment and suicide and mass violence contagion. In addition, she works with DPREP Safety and has provided for them national-level webinars on the rise of white supremacy and the mental illness and mass shooting myth.

Lisa is co-author of White Supremacist Violence: Understanding the Resurgence and Stopping the Spread, which is available through Routledge Publishers and can also be purchased on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, and other locations throughout the world.

Her most recent peer-reviewed publications address domestic terrorism recruitment practices, media contagion in connection to suicides and targeted shootings, as well as the mental health and mass shooting myth. Her work on media contagion, female shooters, threat assessment, and post-mass shooting mental health has been featured in Salon, The Hill, the Californian, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and the Colorado Sun.

Within the regional community, she has served as the region’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Fundamentals of Mental Health trainer since 2014 and is co- founder and director of the Northwestern Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management team as well as a Board member on the Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition.



Relevant Experience Related to the Center of MASS Violence and Suicide

  • Campus Violence Prevention and Protection Trainer (trained through Department of Justice Services Grant 2011-DG-BX-K013) Member, Rhodes ECAIPP (Education, Communication, Assessment, Intervention and Protection Plan) Advisory Board
  • K – 12 Behavioral Intervention Team Trainer (trained through Department of Justice Services Grant 2011-DB-BX-K013)
  • Conducted Threat Assessment trainings for ProMedica Toledo and ProMedica Flower Hospitals
  • Created Online Curriculum for Rhodes State Center for Critical Incident Response and Prevention
  • Threat Assessment Team Founder and Supervisor – Oregon City School District
  • Threat Assessment Case Specialist
  • Advisory Board Member – Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Content Creator and Presenter – Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Fundamentals of Mental Health Content Creator and Presenter – Northwest Ohio area
  • Crisis Intervention Team training *Chair, Community BRAVE (Bullying Resources And Violence Education) Initiative

She has created and teaches master and doctoral level seminars on

  •  School violence: theories, causes, prevention, and intervention
  •  Threat assessment and case management of rampage shootings and suicides
  •  Applied child and adolescent development
  •  Prevention through recovery for K-12, campus, and workplace interpersonal and intrapersonal violence

Recent publications include “The Contagion Effect as it Relates to Public Mass Shootings and Suicides” in the Journal of Behavioral Intervention Teams as well as a co-authored publication with Dr. Brian Van Brunt, titled, “Debunking the Myths: Mental Illness and Mass Shootings” in Violence and Gender.

This year, she was an invited featured speaker at the NaBITA annual conference, where she presented Clearing Up the Confusion: Mental Health and Mass Shootings. She also conducted a presentation on the reality of female mass shooters.

Some of the peer-reviewed conference presentations she has given include a history of female rampage shooters, conducting a behavioral threat assessment, mental illness and mass shooters, bullying and its link to suicides and homicides, mental health and the student-athlete, recognizing at-risk students, de-escalation with mentally ill students and patients, and PTSD in emergency response personnel. She has designed and currently teaches graduate level seminars on the causes, consequences, and prevention of school and workplace violence, case management in suicide and mass shootings as well as prevention, intervention, active response, and recovery in public mass shootings, terrorist recruitment, and suicides.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology w/Minor in Clinical Psychology

*All degrees earned in the Department of Psychology, The University of Toledo

Last Updated: 7/26/23