Ethan joined The Institute as a Research Assistant in 2022.
Ethan’s expertise is in primarily qualitative data analysis. He has gathered information related to the COVID-19 pandemic through oral history interviews, assisted in research focused on women working in the glass industry in western Pennsylvania, and presented research on the Sakdal Movement in the Philippines. Ethan brings a skill set that is oriented toward community outreach and primary source interpretation.
Having studied anthropology and interned at the Anthracite Heritage Museum, Ethan has a strong understanding of community engagement methodologies as well as a practical sense of public research. As an intern, Ethan assisted researchers interested in the coal mining history of northeastern Pennsylvania. As a student, he worked with local historical societies to create brochures highlighting community buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
In addition to his public research experience, Ethan has conducted a substantial amount of archaeological and historical research. These projects include artifact and database analysis related to his fieldwork in western Pennsylvania and primary source interpretation later presented in his senior thesis. His thesis was later awarded the best historical topics paper of his graduating class.
As a Research Analyst, Ethan works on the annual Indicators report, authors, articles for the Quarterly Economic Tracker, and conducts primary and secondary data analysis and interpretation for client projects and subject matter task force research.
Ethan is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with majors in Anthropology and History. He also has certificates in Public History and Foundations of Interpretation. Currently, Ethan is enrolled at PennWest University and is pursuing his Master’s degree in Information and Library Science.
Sarah, a former Institute intern, joined The Institute in April 2021 as a Research Assistant. She started her new role as a Research Analyst in January 2024.
Sarah’s expertise is in quantitative data analysis using descriptive and inferential statistics. She has expanded her experience into labor market analysis and expanding her subject matter expertise in health and health care.
Sarah has been working on the annual Indicators report, authoring articles for the Quarterly Economic Tracker as well as working on primary and secondary data analysis and interpretation for client projects and subject matter task force research.
Sarah also prepares analytical plans, survey analyses, and other reports for health-related organizations.
Sarah graduated from Misericordia University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and minors in Management and Mathematics. She is now pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics at the Rutgers School of Public Health.
Michael Ray Shuba
Michael’s expertise is in quantitative data analysis and literature research. He has gathered and analyzed data for paleo-glacial reconstructions, researched and gathered data for soil analysis assisting in the mountain farming community of the San Luis Valley, Colorado, and used different types of Geographical information systems such as ArcMap(desktop) and Google Earth Pro. Michael’s background of data analysis and research within the environmental sciences has helped prepare him for his role as Research Assistant at The institute.
As an undergraduate, in such a geographically rich area as the San Luis Valley Co., Michael was able to learn how interconnected a community is with their regional environment through extracurricular courses that focused on water, anthropogeny, and soils. During this time Michael also found community among his fellow scientists working as a GIS Teaching Assistant & Tutor, Ryan Museum Curator & Tour Guide, summer Research Assistant, and Geological Tour Guide for the NEXT50 programs.
As a research assistant, Michael has been working on literature reviews, policy briefs and collecting data for indicators. Shuba supports the community engagement team in field research.
Dr. Jolene Carey-Pace joined The Institute Team in 2021 as a Research Analyst. In 2023, she was named Senior Research & Policy Analyst.
Jo is the principal contributor in developing specific research project requirements and is responsible for all aspects of projects, from research method development through delivery, along with performing complex study and data collection methods. She is responsible for developing objectives and the design of research and data collection procedures, developing and writing study protocols, and analyzing and interpreting data and results.
Dr. Carey-Pace also provides leadership, administration, and day-to-day project management. She also guides the development of new research initiatives, provides mentorship, and leads The Institute’s public policy program.
Dr. Carey-Pace is a graduate of Wilkes University with a Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership Studies. Jo also earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor’s degree in English. She also holds certificates in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace and Post-Crisis Leadership from the University of South Florida MUMA.
Emily Bauer joined The Institute in September 2023.
Born and raised in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania, she went on to attend Arcadia University and the Umbra Institute, where she received her degree in International Business and Culture.
As the Administrative Coordinator,
Emily oversees organizational lines of communication, scheduling, and event coordination. She also helps manage the internship program as well as mentoring activities with students from our partnering professional schools.
Her other responsibilities include responding to general inquiries and information requests, exchange of calls and correspondence, and coordinating information requests from the community and media.
Emily also creates and manages content for social media, eblasts, newsletters, press releases, and website updates.
Emily assists with website functionality and secondary research. Additionally, she produces the weekly Institute Review and coordinates The Institute’s polling program and cost of living research.
Prior to her time at The Institute, she served as a Market Coordinator at French American Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia and as a Development Associate at Elan Skilled Nursing and Rehab.
Outside of work Emily is an avid reader and traveler and has mastered multiple languages.
Chief Operating Office
Jill Avery-Stoss joined The Institute in June 2018 to fill the newly-created role of Research, Data, Intern & Administrative Coordinator. She assists with the collection and management of data for purposes of ethical and efficient analysis. She visits partner campuses to market The Institute’s internship opportunities, and participates in event-planning logistical activities as well. In 2021, Jill was promoted to Director of Operations to reflect the diversity in her job description and the additional marketing and communication functions she successfully mastered in 2020. In 2022, Jill was named Chief Operating Officer after expanding into both research and administrative management functions. Jill is taking on project management, fundraising, and other executive leadership functions of the organization.
After studying English and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, Jill embarked on a decade-long journey of counseling and advocating for victims of sexual and domestic violence. During her time in this field, she also provided abuse-specific prevention education to audiences ranging from elementary students to individuals at the collegiate and professional levels.
Following her nonprofit career, Jill directed her attention to online content creation and editing. She produced hundreds of articles, press releases, and other copy on a wide array of topics. This work also includes the development of educational materials, such as benchmark-aligned passages and assessment items for high-school and university-level curricula. The experience directly impacts her regular review of documents to ensure their readiness for distribution and guideline compliance on behalf of the Institute.
Jill’s primary objective is to contribute to productive and proactive community impact. Her background and knowledge of underserved populations are ideally suited to the region’s development needs.
Mark joined The Institute as a Research Analyst in 2022.
After graduating from Dickinson College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science, Mark began his career in workforce development with EDSI, a national workforce development and talent solutions company. For the last six years, Mark served as a data analyst at Pennsylvania CareerLink Luzerne and Schuylkill County, monitoring performance and doing quality control with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a program which is designed to help unemployed and low-income county residents find new jobs or enroll in school.
In 2022, Mark graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy and Public Administration from American University. For his capstone project, he studied green energy spending in the state of New York, with a focus on the impact of the state’s contracting practices on broader social justice issues.
In addition to his professional work, Mark is deeply involved in community organizing. As one of the founders of the Wilkes-Barre Worker Bees, Mark regularly hosts street cleanups with a team of volunteers across the city of Wilkes-Barre. In October, the Worker Bees won the Environmental Partnership Award from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council for their joint work on cleanups and tree plantings in the city.
As a Research Analyst, Mark works on the annual Indicators report, authors articles for the Quarterly Economic Tracker, and primarily conducts quantitative data analysis for client projects as well as community-based research.
Ooms is responsible for all facets of research, organizational strategy, and management. Ooms is an active principal investigator in all Institute research. Ooms has been nationally recognized as a leader in regional economic development. She turned that skill into a research institute to help other regions develop and prosper. Her strategic skills have allowed The Institute to expand its services to the private and non-profit sectors for research and analysis in community health needs assessments, strategic planning, market and feasibility studies, and economic impact analysis. Ooms’ leadership has expanded The Institute’s work to other states. Under her direction, The Institute has completed over 100 client and community based studies. These studies have resulted in new jobs, new programs, sustained initiatives, and new legislation throughout Pennsylvania and in New York. Ooms also serves on a number of local and regional non-profit boards.
In 2016, Ooms was named Innovator of the Year by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry for the development of the Connect program for entrepreneurs, the United Way’s Poverty to Possibility Initiative, replicating the Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE model to Luzerne County, and the development of the regional energy economic development strategy.
From 1997 – 2004, Ooms served as President/CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), Riverside, CA and of its two sister companies – The Inland Empire Tourism Council and the Inland Empire Foundation. IEEP is responsible for the regional marketing, attraction, and recruitment of new business to the region, the expansion and retention of existing business, film, tourism, high tech regional development, a workforce collaborative, regional visioning & planning, legislative advocacy, and the Small Business Development Center.
As President/CEO, Ms. Ooms completed a reorganization of the company resulting in new programs and services, financial stability and increased prominence in the community. In the period of 1997-2003, IEEP had 70 successful business attractions and retentions resulting in over $730 million in new investment into the region creating over 9,500 jobs. The region had over 5,000 film shoots, demonstrating a little over $425 million in regional impact in the same period. In 1999, she was awarded “Management Leader of the Year,” by the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, and in 1998, 1999, and 2000 was a recipient of the “Women of Distinction” award given by the Business Press. During her term as CEO, IEEP’s membership grew by 10% and maintained an average membership retention ratio of 93%. IEEP evolved to include a high technology development program and coordination of the region’s workforce collaborative to bring education and business partnerships to benefit employers, employees, and students as well as the Tourism Council and Foundation.
Ms. Ooms is a cum laude graduate of the University of Scranton with a BS in Public Administration and an MBA in Finance.