She received her PhD in the history of medicine and the biological sciences at the University of Minnesota in July 2012 and a BA in history from the University of Puget Sound in 2003. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Manganaro was visiting professor of history and American studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. During her graduate studies she was a fellow at the University of Minnesota and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and a recipient of a National Science Foundation dissertation improvement grant. Manganaro's book project traces how American scientists who researched race and race relations and wrote the history of Hawai‘i between the 1880s and the territory's transition to statehood in 1959 supported American settler colonialism in the islands.
She is the Associate Dean of Liberal Arts in Undergraduate Studies at MICA since 2018.