International student becomes certified bookkeeper

By Amanda L. Reese
Co-editor (Fall 2012)


Although 29-year-old Diana Oplachkova has only been living in the United States for three short years, her success as a student, employee, and role model at Crowder College has been impeccably displayed.

Oplachkova, an Accounting major at Crowder, is known for her efficiency as a student. While she seems reserved and doesn’t speak out on her own, when called upon in class by Carolyn Strauch, CPA and Accounting instructor, Oplachkova has always been prepared and had the correct answers, according to Strauch. “Diana is hard-working and goes the distance,” says Strauch.

Oplachkova recently passed the last exam required by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and has completed her status as a Certified Bookkeeper.

Oplachkova prepared for the Certified Bookkeeping tests through Crowder’s course, Certified Bookkeeping Review.

“The course, Certified Bookkeeping Review, is an overview of all the AAS Accounting classes,” says Strauch. “It validates that students have learned all the material.” “Two years of bookkeeping experience is required to complete certification,” says Strauch.
Oplachkova is currently a full-time employee at Crowder College. She works in the business office as an accounts pay assistant and an inventory specialist.

“She is the best helper I have ever had,” says Judy Clark, Accounts Payable Accountant, and Oplachkova’s boss. “When she first came here, she didn’t know any English, but she is quick and really sharp. There is a lot of stuff she has taught me.”

Not only is Oplachkova a successful Crowder student and employee, she is also determined to accomplish her goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). “After I finish at Crowder, I will go to a University and work on a Bachelor’s and Master’s in accounting,” says Oplachkova. “I already have a Bachelor’s degree from a Russian University.”

She says she needed to get an additional Bachelor’s in accounting in the United States. “We have a different economic system back home in Russia. Some of the basics are the same, but there are a lot of little details that are different,” says Oplachkova.

Abroad in London, she is currently working on an international accounting program which would open up doors for a similar system world-wide, according to Strauch.

In addition to Oplachkova’s full schedule, she also works off campus. “I teach dance at Solomon’s Dance Studio. It’s close to the Neosho courthouse,” says Oplachkova.
“Both of my parents were dancers in Russia, so I grew up dancing. I did all kinds of dance from ballet to Russian folk and even hip hop,” she says. Although dancing was a huge part of her life, she chose to quit dancing in order to attend business school in Russia, according to Oplachkova.

Her move to Neosho brought an unexpected surprise. “I found out they had a dance school here and went to check it out, maybe for myself. I found they had a place for me to teach,” says Oplachkova. Oplachkova now uses the dance skills she learned in Russia to help children learn to dance.

“Teaching is more of a challenge than when I was dancing. I can’t put kids’ feet where they need to be for them.” “I am more nervous during recitals when I watch my kids dance,” says Oplachkova. “I am more nervous for them than [for myself] when I danced.”

“Diana performed a dance at the 2012 Crowder’s Got Talent and won the contest,” according to Clark. “The contest was a staff development activity for all [employees].”

Oplachkova encourages anyone considering a degree in accounting, “In the beginning it may be hard, but it is really interesting,” she says. “Some people think accounting is boring, but it’s not. You never know what will happen tomorrow; things are always changing [new challenges arise].”

“We have a lot of good instructors here at Crowder,” concludes Oplachkova.