Originally from Costa Rica, Valkiria Durán-Narucki (Valky) came to the United States thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship from the Department of State. She obtained a master’s degree from New York University in Community Psychology, and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of CUNY in Environmental Psychology. During the last 15 years her research has been on environmental meaning and the reproduction of social structure in urban public school buildings. The ultimate goal of her research is to inform and affect public policy. Dr. Duran-Narucki has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Lehman College and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at William Paterson University. She has also been a research consultant for the Center for Building Knowledge of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.