Dr. Lynn Tovar

Associate Professor, Justice Law and Public Safety Studies

Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2002
M.S., Northern Illinois University, 1998
B.S., Southern Illinois University, 1980

Law Enforcement, Street Patrol, Criminal and Youth Investigations of Child Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence, Police Officer Traumatization, Leadership, Human Resource Development, Adult learning, Crime Fighting

Courses/Focus Areas, Undergraduate:
Domestic Violence
Professionalism and Ethics
Introduction in Criminal Justice
Introduction in Law Enforcement
Juvenile Justice
Research Methods

Courses/Focus Areas, Graduate:
Public Safety Administration and Leadership
Public Safety Management, Training and Development
Family Violence
Research Methods

Courses/Focus Areas, Travel Study:
Human Identification in Criminal Investigations (University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center)
Comparative Justice Systems: United States & London (London, England)

Professional Background:
Dr. Tovar has over 30 years of law enforcement experience prior to coming to Lewis. Her list of titles during that time proves that she has consistently worked to provide protection and safety to her communities: Patrol Officer, Juvenile Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Administrative Sergeant, Juvenile Detective Sergeant, and eventually became the Elk Grove Village Police Department Commander of Patrol. After she retired from that position in 2006, she joined Lewis University as Coordinator of Online Education. In 2014 she became a Professor in the Department Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies where she brings her years of experience to educate and prepare students for the field of criminal justice.

Research Interests:
Dr. Tovar’s research interests include domestic violence, graduate education, and experiential learning/transformational learning.

Kappa Delta Pi- An International Honor Society in Education, Academy of Human Resource Development, International Association of Women Police, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Fraternal Order of Police

Scholarly Presentations:

Tovar, L. A. & Misischia, C. (2018, October). Experiential Learning: transformation and discovery through travel study programs. Academic and Business Research Institute International Conference, Orlando, FL.


Tovar, L. A. &  Misischia, C. (2018, February). Experiential learning: Transformation and discovery. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, 55th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Presented internationally and nationally on law enforcement topics in China, Finland, Illinois, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, Washington, Ohio, Arizona, and Michigan:

“First Responder Terrorism Preparedness and Organizational Learning: A Study of Law Enforcement in the Chicago Area.”

“Career Pathing: Hire for Excellence.”

“Public Safety Officers: Learning How to Learn.”

“Learning How to Learn: Implications for Non Traditional Adult Students.”

“Learning How to Learn in the Criminal Justice Curriculum.”

“Vicarious Traumatization: The Impact of Repeat Exposure to Law Enforcement Officers.”

Exceptional Service: 

#NHAEHRD 17-013 entitled “Student Perceptions on Online Tutoring Videos” for New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. ScholarOne Manuscripts. Wiley-Blackwell, May 6, 2017.


Tovar, L. A. (August, 2017). Domestic violence workers: Effects of repeated exposure to trauma. International Journal of Arts and Humanities, 3(4), 25-37.

Tovar, L. A. (2015, February). Smart teens, safe teens: Respecting your body, mind and spirit in today’s technology world. 29th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference, Irving TX.

Tovar, L. A. (2015, March). Graduate education: A qualitative study of discovery toward distinctive criminal justice quality education. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) international conference, Orlando, FL.

“Text Control: examining the influence of digital evidence on the investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse” at the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association, 36th Annual Meeting/Conference, in Chicago in September 2013.

“The Influence of Digital Technology and the Cycle of Domestic Abuse,” presented at the Regional Midwest Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Oct. 2009 in Chicago.

“Vicarious Trauma and the Affects on Law Enforcement Officers,” presented at the National Academy of Criminal Justice of Sciences at San Diego California Feb. 23-27, 2009

“Every Move You Make: The Impact of Technology on Domestic Violence,” co-presented with Dr. Tracey Nicholls at the International Conference on “End Violence Against Women” held April 19-21, 2010 in Atlanta Georgia.