Alumna and Aspiring Physician Named Miss New York International 2020

woman who's wearing a Michigan State shirt and hat and holding a camera on her shoulder

Alumna Ashley Lyles, who earned her undergraduate degree in Professional Writing from Michigan State University in 2016, was crowned Miss New York International and will go on to compete for the title of Miss International 2020 during the final competition in Kingsport, Tennessee, July 30-Aug. 1, 2020.

Lyles, who now lives in New York City, is an award-winning medical journalist and an aspiring physician. She travels to domestic and international medical society meetings, primarily covering cardiology. 

During her reign as Miss New York International, Lyles will devote much of her time to her platform Arrest the Risk, the American Heart Association (AHA), and the AHA Go Red for Women movement. As an ambassador for AHA, she will focus on CPR training for young women and youth. She also will contribute to cardiovascular disease prevention efforts internationally.

Lyles’ passion for heart health and the inspiration behind her career as a medical journalist and the pursuit to become a cardiologist is driven by her father’s battle with heart disease, which resulted in sudden cardiac arrest and sextuple bypass surgery.

“His lifeless body was literally lying face down on a moving treadmill. No one working at the gym that day knew how to perform CPR or how to use a defibrillator,” Lyles said. “I am more determined than ever to make sure what happened to my dad becomes a thing of the past.” 

woman who's wearing a white jacket and a crown who's siting at a table and signing papers
Ashley Lyles during the Miss New York International competition.

Lyles’ talent and passion for heart health awareness earned her the 2017 Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s Jason Kahn Medical Journalism Fellowship and a seat on its Women’s Heart Health Initiative Advisory Committee.

Lyles spent the last year reporting on cardiology and traveling domestically and internationally to report on the latest advances in cardiovascular disease medicine. Her work has taken her to Honduras, Cambodia, France, and Ghana. She also has appeared in outlets like The New York Times Daily 360PBS NewsHourThe Huffington PostThe Root, and Tonic (Vice), among others.

While she was a student at Michigan State University, Lyles was an active member of the campus community, where she served as a resident assistant in Holmes Hall and worked as a student clerical assistant for the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (NSCL/FRIB) for three years. As a resident assistant, Lyles often hosted events centered around health and wellness.

Lyles also is a graduate of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (NYU SHERP). 

The Miss International Pageant is owned and operated by International Pageants, Inc., which also operates Mrs. International, Miss Teen International, and Miss Pre-Teen International pageants. It is the only platform-based pageant system dedicated to highlighting women’s accomplishments through community service. Miss International showcases young women 19 to 30 years old and features four categories of competition, including interview, fitness wear, fun fashion, and evening gown.

For more information about Lyles visit

Originally written by Miss New York International.