Pano Koukopoulos

Season 2 - Episode 10

Pano believes that we earn moxie through putting in the work and paying the price, not instant gratification. As a lover of the outdoors and wild places, he finds opportunities to cultivate moxie and apply the lessons of nature to his life and the lives of those he encounters through his work, teaching, and volunteer commitments.

Pano is the director of Emergency Management and Environmental Health and Safety Programs for Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT, where he oversaw the University’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He teaches in the University’s Department of Biology and the Kathwari Honors Program and is the faculty advisor to the WCSU Adventure Club. If that’s not enough, he’s a volunteer firefighter for the Woodbury Volunteer Fire Department, a certified EMT, a steadfastly loyal Liverpool FC fan, and a bread baker. He has been an instructor at the Connecticut Fire Academy and the Technology Management program at Central Connecticut State University.

Pano’s understanding of risk and how to assess and manage it provides a foundation for moving through the world with less worry and more empowerment. He observes that nothing we do in life is 100 percent risk-free–our job is to identify risk, minimize it, and understand that there are some parts of life we can’t plan for or control.

His time outdoors allows him to hurl expletives into the ruthless ascents of the trail, literal and figurative. But by immersing in forests and canyons, he finds the confidence to know that whatever life throws at him, he has the inner resources and moxie to get through it.


Emergency Management – Western Connecticut State University

Get Help | Emergency Preparedness | Red Cross

Emergency Preparedness and Response | CDC

Community Safety Resources – National Safety Council (

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