Lyson is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on food, health, agriculture, and inequality at the disciplinary nexus of sociology and political science. She holds an M.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies from the University of Chicago.
Lyson's mixed-methods dissertation project explores how recently enacted changes to federal school food policy in light of childhood obesity concerns affect local-level school food program implementation and the growing farm to school movement. Her research integrates theories of the policy process and social movement theories of grassroots social activism. In 2015, Lyson was awarded a federal grant from the National Science Foundation to support her dissertation research. Excerpts of her dissertation have been published in Food Policy, and are forthcoming in an edited volume entitled The Intersection of Food and Public Health: Examining Current Challenges and Solutions in Policy and Politics, which is under contract at CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group. Her previous work on the racial and class politics of the urban agriculture movement has been published in Rural Sociology.
In addition to her research, Lyson also teaches sociology courses at the undergraduate level including Politics and Social Change, and Introduction to Sociology. In 2014, she received an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from the University of California, Berkeley.