Natalia grew up in North Caucasus region of Russia. After completing several years of undergraduate studies in Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University, where she studied intercultural communication, linguistics and the English language, Natalia developed an interest in pursuing further education abroad. She moved to the United States to make this dream come true. Prior to acceptance to the Ph.D. program, she earned a B.S.B.A. degree in accounting (summa cum laude) from University of Central Florida and an MPA degree from the University of South Dakota.

Following graduation, Natalia worked in the field of accounting for several years. Professional practice made her realize that the human factor was paramount in accounting. She believes that beyond numbers are humans. Natalia developed a genuine interest toward behavioral issues of accounting and research in that field, which she believed can deepen our understanding of the impact that human variables have on the value of business enterprises. The area she finds particularly interesting is behavioral experimental research in the field of accounting, focusing on the role of human variables in the decision making process.