Baylor University Mourns Death of Social Work Graduate Student

January 17, 2021
Baylor University
WACO, Texas (Jan. 17, 2020) - Baylor University is mourning the death of Alicia Martinez, a 2020 graduate of the Diana Garland School of Social Work and current social work graduate student who passed away today in Waco from complications from COVID-19. Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., shared the heartbreaking news today in a letter to the campus community:

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

It is with deep sorrow that I share with you the heartbreaking news that we have lost a Baylor University student to complications from COVID-19. We learned earlier today from the family of Alicia Martinez that the 2020 graduate of the Diana Garland School of Social Work and current social work graduate student died in Waco after battling COVID for several weeks. This is devastating news for Alicia's family, friends, her cohort of social work classmates and faculty to whom she was very close and for our community at Baylor University. May all of us in the Baylor Family join together in prayer for Alicia's family and all those who loved and cherished her as they mourn such a tragic loss. May we feel the grace of God through the prayers, thoughts and love from the hearts of those who care and share in this time of great sorrow.

Alicia was a Waco native and graduate of Rapoport Academy, from which she earned her associate's degree at the same time from McLennan Community College. She stayed in her hometown to attend Baylor and pursue her degrees in social work as a way to empower people and communities. One of her faculty members, Mallory Herridge, described Alicia as the "heartbeat of our classroom." She was indeed. Alicia was one of Baylor's bright lights, glorifying God through her dedication to helping others through the social work profession. She was interning at Grassroots Community Development and had already proven herself to be a valuable member of the team. She also volunteered her time to serve with the children's ministry at University Baptist Church. She was so full of hope and planned to graduate with her master's degree in social work in May. This is such a sad day at Baylor. May all those who loved Alicia and grieve her passing find rest, comfort and peace in the love and hope of God.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

University Spiritual and Counseling Support, Monday Virtual Gathering

Our University Chaplain, Dr. Burt Burleson, and Counseling Center staff are offering their support for Alicia's cohort of social work graduate students and others close to her. Students can call the Counseling Center today at 254-710-2467 to speak with on-call staff. Graduate students also have access to free resources available through ComPsych while faculty and staff can access resources through the Employee Assistance Program.

The University will hold a virtual gathering at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 18) for members of the School of Social Work and Baylor community to be together and pray for one another and Alicia's family. To receive log-in information shortly before Monday night's gathering, please email Nikki Wilmoth at