Meet the Team

Tyler Trahan, Director of The Franciscan Experience

Tyler is a graduate of Louisiana State University and was a very active member of Christ the King Catholic Student Center, where his passion for the faith was solidified. He has been involved in youth ministry ever since high school. He is an active volunteer with the Diocese of Baton Rouge Youth & Young Adult Office. In addition to his role with the summer institute at FranU, he also serves as the director of all first year experience programming. He is currently in pursuit of his Master's in Psychology from Divine Mercy University. Tyler is a Broadway and Disney enthusiast!


Dr. Brian Pedraza, Associate Professor of Theology

Dr. Pedraza graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Theology and then earned a Ph.D. in Catechetics from the Catholic University of America. He has years of experience teaching in a high school setting, as well as working in high school and college campus ministry. Dr. Pedraza loves sports and tinkering on the guitar in his free time. Most of all, he loves spending time with his wife, Adrienne, and their boys.


Dr. David Whidden, Professor of Theology

Dr. Whidden received his Doctoral Degree in Systematic Theology from Southern Methodist University. He specializes in theology according to St. Thomas Aquinas and has written a book entitled, “Christ the Light: The Theology of Light and Illumination in Thomas Aquinas”. He has developed courses on St. Francis, Science and Religion, and Catholic Social Teaching that are currently taught at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University. Dr. Whidden loves reading, teaching, and writing about theology. In addition, he is a lifelong soccer player and coach, and always loves spending time with his family.


Dr. Shane Owens, Assistant Professor of Theology

Dr. Owens is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and attended the University of Miami to study literature and international studies. He then went to Franciscan University of Steubenville to begin his studies in theology. There he met his wife Ester, they have been married for four years and have a toddler son Bobby, whom they love dearly. Dr. Owens completed his PhD in Historical Theology with a special focus on St. Augustine of Hippo at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Owens enjoys running, reading, college football, and spending time with his family.


Tammy Vidrine, Director of Campus Ministry

Tammy received her Masters in Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She worked in youth and parish ministry for some time, then moved to work for the Diocese of Baton Rouge in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. She now finds herself at FranU as the Director of Campus Ministry! Her first passion before moving into theology was English. She loves writing and creating, and especially leading others to a closer relationship with Christ.

TFE Summer College Team

TFE Summer is blessed to have current students to serve as mentors and support staff of the Institute. They are essential to the week since they act as small group leaders, facilitators, behind the scenes support, and examples of students who continue their walk with Christ after high school. They represent current students of FranU and TFE Summer alumni (past participants). The college team is selected through an application process.