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 including the Leadership Council for the Society of St. John. He also serves as an Enrollment Advisor for FranU. Tyler is Broadway and Disney enthusiast and will be starting his Masters in Psychology degree in January of 2020.

Dr. Brian Pedraza, Assistant 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, Associate 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. John Meinert, Assistant Professor of Theology

Dr. Meinert received his Ph.D. from Catholic University of America in Moral Theology and Ethics. Not only does he teach at FranU, but he also sits on the Louisiana State Board of Ethics. Per his degree, Dr. Meinert brings his specialty of Catholic Morality and Ethics into forming the participants of TFE. In his spare time, Dr. Meinert likes reading, gardening, hiking, and fishing. If you ever get some time with him... ask him about his chickens!

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.

Franciscan Mentors

TFE is blessed to have current students of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University to serve as college mentors. They are essential to the week since they act as small group leaders, facilitators, and examples of students who live out their faith after high school. They represent different walks of life, different majors, and goals. We are so lucky to have them on board!