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Beyond These Towers

The Campaign for Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Angela Padavano ’85: My WPI Experience is Reflected in Everything I Do

March 20, 2023

Following a notable civil engineering career, Angela Padavano ’85 decided the second chapter of her professional life would include homemade

Rose-Ellen and Angla Padavano '85

Rose-Ellen and Angla Padavano ’85

ravioli. Read further to learn more about Padavano’s journey beyond WPI’s two towers.

Q. What drew you to WPI, and how was your overall WPI education experience?
A. I always excelled at math and science at Worcester North High School, so engineering was a natural progression for me. My high school coach and mentor Brian Dougal always gave me sound advice and he was very supportive of me going to WPI. My father inspired me as a math enthusiast and successful entrepreneur. He wanted to go to WPI after the Navy, and he actually had the $500 tuition saved up, but he was forced by his father to work to help provide for the family. I feel like I went to WPI for him. I can’t say enough about my experience at WPI. Everything was top notch, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be a small part of it.


Q. How did being a WPI athlete impact your experience at WPI?
A. Some of the fondest memories of my college career stem from both the competition from sports and the camaraderie I shared with my teammates, several of whom I consider to be lifelong friends. The bond we shared as we juggled athletics, scholastics, and our social lives is something truly special. We always had each other’s backs, whether it was for help with a project, practice on the field, or planning our weekends. To this day, when we get together laughter is at the forefront, and it’s just like when we were back in college together. We pick up right where we left off.


Q. What have you been up to since leaving WPI?
A. I wast hired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) as a civil engineer as my first engineering job. I spent the majority of my twenty-eight-year career there as a resident engineer supervising bridge and roadway construction projects. In 2005, I married my wife Rose-Ellen and she and her eight-year-old son Sebastien moved here to Worcester with me. Rose-Ellen worked in the Biotechnology field but soon discovered her love for cooking while catering and entertaining our friends on the weekends. In 2013, when a neighborhood restaurant became available, and with the urging of friends, Rosalina’s Kitchen was born. In 2015, with our restaurant booming, I retired from my engineering job, along with Rose-Ellen to focus on our restaurant.


Q. Please tell us a little about Rosalina’s Kitchen and your role in the organization.
A. Rosaliana’s Kitchen is a homestyle Italian restaurant located in a neighborhood full of Worcester’s iconic three decker houses in the Grafton Hill section of Worcester. We specialize in homemade ravioli. As the head chef in this scratch kitchen, Rose-Ellen runs the back of the house, and I run the front of the house. Our regular customers are the heart and soul of our restaurant, but amazingly after thirteen years of business, we still have people coming in for their first time.


Q. How have the education and life skills you gained at WPI gone on to serve you in your career? 
A. WPI taught me how to learn. After my college years, I really felt like I could learn how to figure out anything, and that has followed me through my lifetime, whether it’s learning how to be a restaurateur or discovering how to build out and remodel my basement at home. I’ve always claimed that being an engineer is a lot easier than being a restaurant owner, which most people find very humorous. I credit my WPI education with giving me the life skills that have carried me through my two careers. My WPI experience is reflected in everything I do.


Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A. Our son Sebastien is a 2017 graduate of WPI. A Chemical Engineering major, he is currently a Process Engineer in Nashua, NH. He currently resides in Nashua with his husband Michael. Both Rose-Ellen and I are proud that he chose my alma mater as his college. WPI has served our family well!