Michigan State alumna Ashley Lyles was recently named Miss New York International 2020. Lyles attended MSU as a professional writing major.
She will be attending the Miss International 2020 final competition from July 30 to Aug. 1, 2020.
She said she started working early to compete for the title.
“That involves a lot of runway lessons, walking lessons, picking out a wardrobe,” Lyles said. “Preparing for interviews, doing some work and coming up with a strategy with what you want to do if you win the title of Miss International. I am definitely working on that and I have a great team of people who are helping me.”
The Miss International 2020 Pageant will take place in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Lyles was a resident assistant in Holmes Hall and was a student clerical assistant at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams for three years.
Her professional writing career — and interest in the medical industry — continued when she decided to attend the New York University Science, Health and Reporting Program. There, she was open to new opportunities that she said have had an impact on her career.
“One of the things that I did, that kind of set my experience apart from maybe some of my other classmates when I was there, was I participated in a very selective program called NYU Global Beat, which is an international reporting course,” Lyles said.
During the reporting course, Lyles went to Cambodia for an entire semester, where she and her group reported on the malaria epidemic and the genocide and deportation in Cambodia.
“It was the most amazing trip ever. During spring break, we were able to go and report, interview global health experts and different people who are involved in health policy,” Lyles said. “When we returned, we were able to get our work in The New York Times, The Daily 360 and PBS NewsHour. That was a really unique experience because I was actually able to apply the things that I was learning and also use it in a way that would really advance my career.”
Lyles also wrote articles for HuffPost about health concerns after her father experienced cardiac arrest at a gym.
“No one at the gym (who works there) could remember how to perform CPR, or how to use a defibrillator,” she said. “That means my dad’s lifeless body was laying face down on a moving treadmill. But thankfully, there was a medical resident who just happened to be in the gym. He saw what happened, rushed over, took charge of the situation. After multiple rounds of CPR, he was able to save my dad’s life.”
The article also touched on how women’s health matters just as much as men’s health and that there needs to be more attention drawn to health differences between men and women.
“That was a piece I was able to write, too, that was really near and dear to my heart,” Lyles said. “I am really passionate about combining my passion and my interest for heart health and women’s health into the work that I do as a journalist.”
When Lyles is not writing, she is participating in pageants.
With her participation in pageants, she has also had the opportunity to join the American Heart Association (AHA) as an ambassador. There is an alliance between the Miss International Pageant and the AHA.
“I had the opportunity to attend luncheons, events and really get involved, whether it is training people on CPR or sharing my dad’s story,” Lyles said. “There are a number of ways we will be partnering throughout the year.”
Lyles said she is excited to be competing for Miss International 2020.