IN MEMORIAM Natalie Carbone Mangini ’49 Blazed a Trail for Women in Science
As a child, Natalie Carbone Mangini enjoyed reading books and experimenting with chemistry sets over playing with dolls.
Her love of learning would lead her to study Chemistry at Seton Hill and would help her become the first woman to hold the title of Scientist at Westinghouse’s Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, setting her on a path as a trailblazer and role model for women in science.
Mangini, a Distinguished Alumna of Seton Hill, died on May 31, 2022. She was 93.
Growing up in the village of Crabtree, Westmoreland County, Mangini spent much of her childhood and adult life working in Carbone’s, the restaurant opened by her parents in 1938 and operated by her family until 2018.
After graduating from Seton Hill in 1949, Mangini began work at Westinghouse – but soon became bored with her role. She applied for a position in the atomic power laboratory and was called for an interview when the supervisors thought she was a man. After some hesitation, she was offered the job she wanted in radiochemistry.
Mangini worked on nuclear procedures for the USS Nautilus, the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. In addition, she helped to develop safety procedures for the nuclear reactor at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first commercial application of nuclear power.
Her work on the Nautilus led to her appearance on the television game show “What’s my Line?”
She spent 10 years in the radiochemistry department until she had to leave due to her first pregnancy. Her family would grow to include four children: Vanessa Hooper, Natalie Stefanick, Vincent Mangini and Melissa Orlosky; and several grandchildren.
After Westinghouse, Mangini helped her husband run his oil business while also continuing to work at the family restaurant.
Mangini once said she lived her life not worrying about what other people thought – especially as she worked in the male-dominated nuclear field.
“Whatever you decide that you like to do – go do it,” she said. “It’s never work if you love it. I never felt like I was working. I always felt like I was having fun.”