OSU accounting grad student earns top CPA exam score, receives OSCPA Silver Medal

by Ariel West 
(April 18, 2017 at 9:05 am)

Sarah Polakow will be awarded the OSCPA Silver Medal. Photo (c) Lifetouch Portrait Studios Inc.

Oklahoma State University accounting graduate student Sarah Polakow will be awarded the OSCPA Silver Medal from the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) on May 20 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Polakow scored the highest on the CPA exam and passed all four parts of the exam within testing windows III (September) and IV (December) of 2016. Without the guidance of accounting professor Bob Cornell and associate dean Carol Johnson, Polakow says she would have switched majors long ago.

“When I first started out in the accounting program at OSU, I had a rough go of things and seriously considered switching majors,” Polakow said. “During a meeting with Dr. Cornell and Dr. Johnson, they told me that what someone had learned and the work ethic they acquired wasn’t always accurately measured by their grade point average. It was because of their encouragement and my family’s support that I chose to stay in accounting, and I am so glad I did.

“Receiving this award is an incredible honor, something that honestly hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’ve been extremely blessed to have had professors, family and friends that challenged and encouraged me through both my college career and the exam. It’s definitely as much their accomplishment as it is mine.”

Polakow attended OSU as an accounting undergraduate from 2011-2014 and received her master’s in accounting December 2016. She works as an associate with Grant Thornton LLP in Tulsa.

OSCPA is the only statewide professional organization for Oklahoma CPAs. Formed in 1918 with a charter membership of 31, OSCPA unites more than 6,000 CPAs in public practice, private industry, government and education. The organization strives to maintain high ethical standards, promote a positive public image and enhance the professional competence of CPAs. All members hold certificates issued pursuant to the laws of the state of Oklahoma or of other states and subscribe to the Code of Professional Conduct embodied in the bylaws of the organization.