Thanks to Michele Mingoia, who submitted this post and the picture above of her mother, Bea Short, in the lab circa 1949.
Beatrice Short Mingoia (1929-1988) was a student at the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Scientists where she earned an AS degree in Industrial Chemistry in 1949. In most of her classes, she was the only girl. She chose her career path because she wanted a field that was well supported by the industry in her home in Western New York.
She left chemistry in the 1950s to get married and raise her daughter, Michele (that’s me), in whom she inspired an interest in math and the sciences. Beatrice returned to environmental laboratory work when Michele began high school and did what she could to support Michele’s achievement of degrees in Engineering and Business. Bea didn’t get to be a grandma. Michele was too busy having fun with work and technical toys. But Michele has begun an award in Chemistry at the local County Science Fair in memory of her mom, to encourage girls who submit excellent projects in Chemistry. Each prize recipient gets this story and photo as a look at the past.